The PINS annual report shows that its decision to focus on local plan examinations and on processing major infrastructure applications has led to a deterioration in its performance on processing appeals.
Mike Kiely, Chair of the Board at the Planning Officers Society, told a Planning magazine reporter that he is not optimistic that PINS will be able to deal with its backlog any time soon, and fears that next year's local plan deadline could lead to further casework delays. "I suspect that some developers are probably thinking twice about going to appeal because of the time delays," he said. "They might even agree to some things they're not entirely happy with rather than be delayed by a further 12 months."
Kiely suggested that reviewing the depth of PINS's involvement with local plan work and the introduction of a "lighter touch" approach to simpler appeals could help to lessen inspectors' workload.