HC Deb 09 May 1985 vol 78 cc487-8W
Mr. Alex Carlile

asked the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps have been taken to speed up decision-making procedures on appeal; and what is the longest delay at present in the Welsh Office between the original appeal and the decision;

(2) what is the median time for planning appeals using (a) the public inquiry procedure with the decision reserved to the Secretary of State, (b) the public inquiry procedure with the decision power devolved to the inspector and (c) the written representation procedure; and how all these times compare with the average two years ago.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

The required information is given in the following table. Speedier handling has resulted from the transfer of most appeals to inspectors and from a number of other procedural improvements. Most significant have been the creation of a separate Welsh-based unit of the inspectorate and the introduction of the "Express Appeals" system for accelerating the initital stages of documentation. The longest delays occur on cases recovered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and dealt with by the written method. Such cases are generally complex and require more time for proper consideration. In 1984 the median time for such cases was 48 weeks.

Median times taken to determine appeals under sections 36 and 53 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 in Wales.

1982 Weeks 1984 Weeks
Appeals decided by Secretary of State Inquiry method 59 32
Written method 54 48
Appeals decided by inspector Inquiry method 33 30
Written method 25 21

Note: Median times are derived by ranking all appeals in order of times taken and taking the middle case as being representative of all.

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