DCLG has also published guidance on the process the IPC will follow in examining applications for development consent. A brief summary is below.

  • The chair of the IPC decides whether the case is dealt with by a panel or by a single commissioner. This will generally depend on complexity and level of public interest, although it is expected that nuclear or aviation applications will be dealt with by a panel.
  • Interested parties have a right to be heard, together with those who have made "relevant representations". There is discretion to allow others to appear.
  • There will be a preliminary assessment by the Examining Authority, followed by a preliminary meeting to determine procedure for the examination and to set a timetable. The examination is to be carried out in public.
  • A statement of Common Ground is to be prepared by all parties.
  • Note that the Act proposes an inquisitorial approach to the examination, as opposed to the adversarial nature of planning inquiries.
  • There is scope for a written representations procedure.

For more details, see the guidance.