HC Deb 28 July 2000 vol 354 c956W
Mr. Don Foster

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many appeals to the Planning Inspectorate against local authority planning decisions were(a) allowed and (b) rejected; how many such appeal decisions were taken to judicial review and what was the (i) outcome of such proceedings and (ii) cost of the Planning Inspectorate in the last convenient period for which figures are available. [133361]

Ms Beverley Hughes

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate, Chris Shepley, to write to the hon. Gentleman, because the question relates to decisions made by planning inspectors.

Letter from Chris Shepley to Mr. Don Foster, dated 28 July 2000The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Question about planning appeal decisions and the number that are the subject of judicial review. For the year 1999–2000 planning inspectors decided 12,411 planning appeals in England. Of these 4,485 were allowed and 7,926 dismissed. To date, 84 decisions have been the subject of a legal challenge and of these 17 have been withdrawn. In a further 11 cases we have accepted that the decision contained an error in law and the appeals are being reconsidered. 11 case have been heard in court and we wee successful in resisting all but one challenge. The remaining 45 cases have yet to be settled. Turning to your final question, I am unsure what costs you are interested in. The costs associated with High Court challenges may accrue over several years so it is not possible to give you a precise figure as to how much the challenges made last year will cost. However, on average we estimate that a challenge costs us about £5,300. The total cost of running the Inspectorate in 1999/2000 was £33m.

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