Planning magazine revealed that a quarter of recovered appeals and call-in decisions are being decided outside a new three-month deadline for secretary of state decisions.
Planning Officers Society (POS) chairman Mike Kiely said: "We are all under tight deadlines so they should practice what they preach. It always surprises me that the government takes so long issuing decisions. Three months is a very generous period, even for very complicated decisions. It's not that challenging a target."
Kiely pointed out that councils also have to meet a three-month deadline for planning but have to do "a lot more" in that time, including consultations.