HL Deb 25 July 1991 vol 531 cc85-6WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When the Planning Inspectorate will become an executive agency under the Next Steps initiative.

Baroness Blatch

We intend to launch the Planning Inspectorate Executive Agency on 1st April 1992.

A main aim of the new agency will be to maintain the high quality of the Planning Inspectorate's work in relation to planning appeals and its other responsibilities. Inspectors' recommendations and decisions on planning cases will continue to be made by reference to statutory requirements and the Government's policy guidance. Their independence will not be impaired. Agency status will define more sharply the objectives which the inspectorate aims to achieve, and the greater management flexibility which it permits will promote greater efficiency.

The relationship between Ministers and the agency's chief executive, who will also be the Chief Planning Inspector, will be set out in a framework document, which is now being prepared. The chief executive's post will be subject to open competition.