Planning Inspectorate

Planning Inspectorate
Agency overview
Jurisdiction England and Wales
Headquarters Temple Quay, Bristol; Cathays Park, Cardiff for Wales
Employees 700 including 300 Planning Inspectors[1]
Minister responsible
  • Gavin Barwell
Agency executive
  • Sarah Richards
"Shaping the planning landscape"

The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales (sometimes referred to as PINS[2]) (Welsh: Yr Arolygiaeth Gynllunio) is an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government of the United Kingdom Government. It is responsible for determining final outcomes of town planning and enforcement appeals and public examination of local development plans. It also deals with a wide variety of other planning-related casework including planning appeals - about, for instance, shop signs and advertisement displays on hoardings, bus shelters etc., and cases on which Inspectors report to the Secretary of State concerned on planning applications requiring ministerial approval.


The Planning Inspectorate traces its roots back to 1909 and the birth of the planning system in the UK. The Housing and Town Planning Act received Royal Assent in December 1909 and town planning as we know it today was established. This was followed by the Housing and Town Planning Act 1919, the Town Planning Act 1925 and the Town and Country Planning Acts of 1932, 1947 and 1990 amongst others. John Burns (1858-1943) was the first member of the working class to become a government Minister – President of the Local Government Board. He was responsible for the 1909 Housing Act, and the appointment of Thomas Adams (1871-1940) as Town Planning Assistant – a precursor to the current role of Chief Planning Inspector.[3]


The Inspectorate is headquartered in Bristol, with a separate office in Cardiff dealing with planning appeals in Wales. The Scottish Executive Inquiry Reporters' Unit in Scotland and the Planning Appeals Commission in Northern Ireland are the equivalent institutions for those countries.

The Inspectorate employs salaried staff and also contracts non-salaried Inspectors (NSIs).[4]

Authority and powers

Planning inspectors, appointed by the Secretary of State and said 'to stand in the shoes of the Secretary of State', are given power by Schedule 6 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Determination of Appeals by Appointed Persons) (Prescribed Classes) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/420) to determine the appeals which are mostly against refusals of local planning authorities to grant planning permission. Inspectors are selected on the basis of their particularly high levels of competence and experience within the planning industry. They are required to work independently and are individually accountable for their decisions. As such, it is a highly responsible role.

Annual report 2015/16


The planning system including the role of the Inspectorate has been criticised by journalists and MPs, including Peter Wilby[5] and Kris Hopkins.[6]

See also


  2. Johnston, Bryan (5 December 2011). "Reanimating a role". PlanningResource. Haymarket Media Group. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  4. Carpenter, Jamie (July 13, 2012). "Planning Inspectorate sees 14% reduction in numbers". Planning. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  5. Wilby, Peter (February 19, 2007). "A Corrupt System That Affects Us All". New Statesman. Retrieved October 18, 2011. Last year, our local council turned down an application from Costa Coffee. [...] Unfortunately, the decision was overturned on appeal [...] The Bolsheviks didn't have to worry about the planning inspectorate.
  6. Redhead, Jonathan (September 7, 2010). "Angry MP hits out at decision by Inspector over appeal by Tesco". Telegraph & Argus. Bradford. Retrieved October 18, 2011. [...] Kris Hopkins, Conservative MP for Keighley which includes Ilkley, said he has written to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to tell him the current planning regime needs to change. [...] "The Planning Inspectorate's decision to support Tesco's appeal is the wrong one," Mr Hopkins said.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/27/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.