HC Deb 29 January 1981 vol 997 cc515-6W
Mr. Durant

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further steps he is considering to improve the planning appeals system.

Mr. Heseltine

In addition to my proposals in the consultation paper on the appeals system, already published, I am looking at ways of increasing the capacity of the planning inspectorate to deal with its growing work load, without recruiting additional permanent staff. I am, therefore, undertaking an experiment in the use of part-time planning inspectors drawn from private practice. I am grateful for the help given me in preparing this experiment by the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Royal Institutes of Chartered Surveyors and of British Architects and the Institutes of Civil and Municipal Engineers; I have also kept the Council on Tribunals informed.

The experiment, which started this month, will last for about three months, after which I shall consult the interested bodies on its findings.

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