§ Mr. Alan Howarth
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, what is the job specification of his Department's chief planning inspector.
§ Mr. Tracey
The chief planning inspector's duties comprise—responsibility for the efficient and effective processing of planning appeals made under sections 36 and 37 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 and listed building consent appeals under section 56 of the same Act, including the administration procedures, the arrangements for hearings and site visits, the issue of decision letters where appeals are decided by Inspectors or the submission of reports where jurisdiction rests with the Secretary of State, and work arising from post-decision challenges to planning appeal decisions;—arrangements for and conduct of public inquiries and site visits for all other casework undertaken by Inspectors and the subsequent submission and content of reports and decision letters. This includes casework under the planning acts (eg enforcement appeals, Section 35 'call-in cases' local plans) housing acts (slum clearance orders), Wildlife and Countryside Act (eg rights of way orders, nature conservation orders), highway acts (eg trunk and classified road schemes);—setting and maintaining standards of professional conduct for Inspectors, their training and career development;—contributing to the development and implementation of improved procedures and practice in connection with planning appeals and other casework;—management of the Inspectorate with a total staff of 373, approximately 50 per cent. of whom are Inspectors and 50 per cent. administrative staff. 10 salaried Inspectors working for the Welsh Office also come under the control of the Chief Planning Inspector. In addition to salaried Inspectors, there are about 200 part time fee-paid Inspectors.