Planning Inspectorate

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Planning Inspectorate

Independent experts, inspiring confidence and shaping exceptional communities, now and for future generations.
Agency overview
JurisdictionEngland and Wales
HeadquartersTemple Quay, Bristol; Cathays Park, Cardiff for Wales
Employees700 including 360 Planning Inspectors
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Sarah Richards
Parent departmentMHCLG

The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales (sometimes referred to as PINS) (Welsh: Yr Arolygiaeth Gynllunio) is an executive agency of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government of the United Kingdom Government with responsibility to make decisions and provide recommendations and advice on a range of land use planning-related issues across England and Wales.[1] The Planning Inspectorate deals with planning appeals, nationally significant infrastructure projects, planning permission, examinations of Local Plans and other planning-related and specialist casework.[2]


The Planning Inspectorate traces its roots back to the Housing, Town Planning Act 1909 and the birth of the planning system in the UK. John Burns (1858–1943), the first member of the working class to become a government Minister, was President of the Local Government Board and responsible for the 1909 Housing Act. He appointed Thomas Adams (1871–1940) as Town Planning Assistant – a precursor to the current role of Chief Planning Inspector.[3]

Subsequent Acts have included the Housing and Town Planning Act 1919, the Town Planning Act of 1925, the Town and Country Planning Acts of 1932, of 1947 and of 1990.

Between 1977 and 2001 the inspectorate was based in Tollgate House, Bristol before moving to its current headquarters at Temple Quay House, Bristol.

The National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill 2013-14 proposed to abolish the Planning Inspectorate.[4]

On 9 May 2019, in a Written Statement, the Welsh Government (WG) signalled its intention to establish a separate, dedicated Planning Inspectorate for Wales due to the ongoing divergence of the regimes in England and Wales.[5]


The Inspectorate is headquartered at Temple Quay House in Bristol with a separate office for Welsh planning appeals in Cardiff.

The Inspectorate employs salaried staff and also contracts non-salaried Inspectors (NSIs). [6]

Planning inspectors, appointed by the Secretary of State and said 'to stand in the shoes of the Secretary of State', are given power by Schedule 6 to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Determination of Appeals by Appointed Persons) (Prescribed Classes) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997/420) to determine the appeals which are mostly against refusals of local planning authorities to grant planning permission.

PINS operates under primary legislation for the appeals system, which is the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990 (as amended), the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) which covers the consenting regime for National Infrastructure projects, and the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 which covers Developments of National Significance in Wales. The Local Plans system is covered by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Frameworks established by related legislation cover other areas of work such as Environmental appeals and Rights of Way casework.

The Planning Inspectorate has three primary roles:

  • to help communities shape where they live;
  • to operate a fair and sustainable planning system; and
  • to help meet future infrastructure needs.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What we do".
  2. ^ "". PINS.
  3. ^ "The Planning Inspectorate Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14". Planning Inspectorate.
  4. ^ "Bill proposes to abolish Planning Inspectorate and cut permitted development rights". LexisNexis.
  5. ^ a b Planning Inspectorate, Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19, published 11 July 2019, accessed 3 July 2020
  6. ^ "The Planning Inspectorate Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18". Planning Inspectorate.

External links[edit]