Public inquiries and hearings

Hearings

The Process

This process is similar to the Written Representations process in terms of the documentation that needs to be provided. However, it also provides an opportunity for an informal hearing of the written evidence provided. This takes the form of a round the table discussion led by the Inspector.

The timeframe for the submission of written evidence is the same as that for the Written Representations procedure, but the whole process may take a little longer as a date has to be set for the hearing, which must be attended by all parties.

This process is useful where there are particular issues that cannot be succinctly explained or clarified in writing or perhaps where there are a large number of issues to address, some of which may be more important than others. It enables the Inspector to ask direct questions to all parties, which may also include third parties such as the occupiers of neighbouring properties or local Councillors.

Legal representation is not allowed, although it strongly advised to have a professional planning representative, such as Get Planning and Architecture, to present your case.

A hearing will normally take a half day or whole day, and will be followed by a site visit by the Inspector with all interested parties in attendance. A decision is not made on the day but normally follows in writing a few weeks later.

Inquiries

The Process

This is a most formal appeal procedure and involves both written and oral evidence, with opportunities for the cross examination of individuals. It is particularly useful where professional evidence is required, for example to demonstrate that using established, technical assessments or knowledge that the development causes no harm. The principle parties are normally represented by an advocate (such as a barrister or a solicitor) who call the expert witnesses to give their evidence and cross examine the other side. The Inspector will lead the Inquiry and listen to the responses given to any cross examination, in addition to considering the written evidence provided.

The Inquiry
may only take one day, although significant preparation will be required. Some Inquiries may go on considerable longer and several days or even weeks is not uncommon.

At some point in the Inquiry a site visit will be made. Again, a decision is not made on the day but normally follows in writing a few weeks later.

How Get Planning and Architecture can help?

Our planners have a great deal of experience in this field and together we can help guide you though this process, call us now on 020 8770 3962 or email us using the link at the top of the page.

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