§ Mr. Durant
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he now has to reduce the delay in dealing with planning appeals.
§ Mr. John Silkin
Some 60 per cent. of planning appeals are currently being decided in an average of 34 weeks. There are still long delays, however, in those cases where a local inquiry has to be held. Special measures to deal with these cases are under discussion with the local authorities concerned—including, where the authorities are able to co-operate, the arranging of intensive programmes of local inquiries. As a result my right hon. Friend hopes that it will be possible progressively to reduce the backlog of outstanding cases.