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Informal hearings

Procedures for informal hearings

If the decision is made to conduct the appeal through an informal hearing, the local authority will notify all parties with an interest in the application.

The authority will also supply everyone with a copy of the rules and procedures of an informal hearing, as devised by the Planning Inspectorate.

  • The hearing should take place within 12 weeks of the appeal request.
  • As an interested party, you will be given at least 28 days' notice of it taking place.

The applicant and the local authority must provide a statement of their case to the inspector and all principal parties at least three weeks before the hearing.

As a third party, you also have the right to provide a written statement.

Ask to receive copies of all other parties' documents.

Your written statement should contain the same information that would be included in a proof of evidence for a public inquiry.

Organise your evidence carefully in advance.

You will not be expected to raise any issues at the hearing other than the ones detailed in your statement.

Informal hearings are usually run as a discussion led by the inspector, in which members of the public can ask questions and put forward their points of view. Lawyers are rarely present.

A hearing often involves an inspector's site visit. When this happens, you have a good opportunity to expand on your case and to demonstrate the depth of local feeling.