By Christopher Young
1. This Review asks how can planning inquiries be improved to “significantly reduce the time taken to conclude planning inquiries, while maintaining the quality of decisions..?”
2. This Review expressly invites evidence from “those who are, or have recently been involved in the inquiry process. We want to draw on people’s first hand experience and knowledge and encourage users of the process to identify ways it can be improved.”
3. Public inquiries engage the public, local authorities the house building industry and the myriad of professionals who advise and represent them across the whole country. Thousands of people are involved in public inquiries. In light of this, a great many people should respond to this Review.
4. What is offered here is just one personal view from someone who has been engaged in public inquiries almost constantly for the last 19 years. As a barrister I appear, on average, in about 20 planning inquiries a year, but advise on many more. The vast majority of my work concerns public inquiries into housing proposals. I also regularly appear in the higher courts in respect of legal challenges to planning appeals into housing proposals which have been considered at a public inquiry, both challenging and defending such decisions. Defending one such decision from a legal challenge by the local authority resulted in the Supreme Court judgment in Richborough Estates v Cheshire East BC  UKSC 37. I act mostly for the house building industry, but do on occasion act for local planning authorities.