A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy


The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

Change at the Planning Inspectorate

I knew this move, which is part of the rationalisation of Government websites, was under consideration earlier this year and expressed a little concern.  The Inspectorate is an independent body and it seemed to me that it merited its own site as a sign of and to reinforce that independence.  After all the Courts Service has its separate website. Or so I thought. That too has now been closed and moved to the Ministry of Justice.So, back to the Chief Planning Inspector. He is Peter Burley, currently Director of the Welsh arm of the Planning Inspectorate.  He is an experienced inspector and dealt with the difficult Thames Basin Heaths delivery plan in 2007.  It is good to hear that the Inspectorate is again to have a Chief Inspector.  Traditionally it has been headed by an Inspector, but that changed when Katrine Sporle became Chief Executive in 2003.  Peter Burley will not head the Inspectorate; that is done by Sir Michael Pitt who, like Katrine Sporle, is a former local authority chief executive.    But his appointment and the recreation of the post of Chief Planning Inspector gives the opportunity for there to be a strong, recognisable voice of the decision maker and professional in the leadership of the Inspectorate.As a service, the Portal logo on this page is a link to the Portal and the opening Planning Inspectorate page on the Portal.

1 comment to Change at the Planning Inspectorate

  • Mike Brighton

    I write in connection with the planning appeal that has just been granted to Wainhomes in our Village Feniton and others applied for in the area.

    I must say that contrary to what has been said by David Cameron about giving the local population a say in the planning process for building that will be undertaken in a local area, the application by Wainhomes has been steamrolled through against the wishes of most of the local population. We are not against expansion of our village and have agreed to an extra thirty five homes to be built in the area around our village in the East Devon District plan but what is going on at present is unreasonable and seems to be undertaken just for profit!

    In our area we already have the new town of Cranbrook which is being undertaken on the edge of Exeter, the question someone needs to ask is, who will buy all of these houses that are about to be built and who can afford these houses other than the housing associations that will need to be given funding to purchase this housing stock.

    1. The village of Feniton tends to flood when heavy rain is experienced in the area, and has flood twice in the past couple of months. This has partly been caused by previous development in Ackland Park part of the area of the old playing fields. Further development in the village will tend to increase the existing problems by increasing the rate of runoff from the developments when heavy rain is experienced. I would have thought it would only be reasonable to fix the existing drainage problems before building more houses in this village.
    2. The existing sewage system in the village is undersized, there are problems with the sewers leading to the treatment works blocking and causing raw sewage to spill onto the road outside the pumping station to the south of the village and also from the manholes in the eastern road next to Feniton court’s woodland. These leakages happen on a regular basis at present and will just get progressively worse if there is further development in the village. The Sewage treatment works is also undersized to take additional flows to the works.
    3. The Land proposed for the development is on best quality Agricultural land, should we be building on land of this quality when there is a shortage of this type of land in country?
    4. The roads entering the village are narrow roads and the road to the east of the village ( road to Fenny bridges) is a single track road and is already too narrow when encountering buses or lorries in the road. There is no way that a car and lorry can pass each other on various sections of this road, without one or the other reversing down the road and this also applies to the road to the North of the village to Payhembury which has a similar problem. The road to Ottery St Mary to the South of the village also has sections of the road that are single track which causes problems with delivery vehicles or Buses and any increase in the traffic on this or the other entrance roads to the village will just compound the existing problems we have with traffic and access to the village.
    5. The train service from the village is slowly being cut back with nearly every revision of the time table, If you are traveling, long distances to Feniton from say London or Exeter you are liable to find that the trains do not stop at the Feniton station and you have to leave the train at Honiton. We understand that when the new Station is built at Cranbrook this situation is liable to get even worse with less not more trains stopping at Feniton. This problem is highlighted by the trains that run during the middle of the day when it is almost impossible to leave the train at Feniton as the trains do not stop at this station.
    6. The local primary school is already full and the main secondary school in Ottery St Mary is also full. Unless additional money is to be spent on these schools by central government the children from this new development will need to be bussed to their new schools which will be away from the surrounding area.

    All I can say is if this policy of unrestricted building carries on with green field sites the conservative party will become unelectable due to the opposition from the country. This is liable to come in the form of a backlash for allowing development on land that was previously been deemed as unacceptable.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mike Brighton
    4, High View,
    Nr Honiton,

    EX14 3EG

    Phone 01404 850117

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