The DCLG has published a consultation on proposed changes to planning appeal procedures. The proposals relate to England only and include, amongst other things, the requirements for applicants to submit a full appeal statement when submitting their appeal and the requirement for the local planning authority to notify interested parties of the appeal within one week, rather than the current two weeks, after receiving notice of a valid appeal.

Also proposed is the establishment of a Commercial Appeal Service, which will enable PINS to make a decision within eight weeks. This will be an accelerated form of the written representations procedure. Under this procedure, appellants will only have twelve weeks to appeal rather than the usual six months. For this process to apply, it will need to be identified at the planning application stage.

The proposals are aimed at making the appeal process faster and more transparent, improving the consistency and certainty of decision timescales, reducing wasted time and expense and quicker development where the appeal is upheld.

The consultation ends on 13 December 2012.