Detailed guide: Appeals: how long they take

Planning Inspectorate

January 21
09:30 2021

December 2020 - Decisions summary

S78 & Householder appeals

Mean (weeks) (Median (weeks) Decisions (cases)
s78 planning appeals Written Reps 27 24 850
s78 planning appeals Hearings 46 43 47
Inquiry appeals submitted after 1 April 2019
s78 planning appeals Inquiries 35 39 17
Householder appeals Written Reps 21 18 468

Enforcement appeals

Includes s174 enforcement appeals, s39 enforcement listed building appeals and lawful development certificate appeals

Mean (weeks) (Median (weeks) Decisions (cases)
Written Reps 38 35 169
Hearings* 64 69 12
Inquiries* 103 99 6

Mean Average - The total time taken divided by the number of cases. Also referred to as the average. A measure of how long each case would take, if the total time taken was spread evenly across all cases.

Median - The middle value, if the times are sorted. This means that half the cases take less then this time; and half the cases take more.

Decisions number of decisions made.

Please note that the times given here are measured from the time an appeal which we are able to progress (valid) to the time a decision is issued.

The smaller the number of decisions, the less helpful the mean and median are as measures for summarising performance. Particular care should be taken when there are fewer than twenty decisions. These are represented with an * in the table, but have been provided for completeness and transparency.

Each of the measures give a slightly different view of the average time taken to make a decision, both are provided because neither gives a perfect indication of the average. The mean is potentially affected by a small number of cases taking a long time and this gives an over-estimate. The median is less affected by these few longer cases so may give a more helpful indication of the average.

The mean was published previously so we are publishing it to allow users to compare current with previous data.

In making use of the data provided, users are reminded that some decisions made in the latest month were on cases submitted a years or more before as such, while they are the most recent snapshot available, they should not be relied on to give a reliable indication of what will happen to a case submitted recently or in the future.

We are reviewing our published information in order to make it more useful and accessible to users please get in touch with us at if you have suggestions on how we could improve the information we provide to you.

Published 1 January 2014
Last updated 21 January 2021 +show all updates
  1. December 2020 - Decisions summary updated

  2. September 2020 data added.

  3. August average performance data added

  4. Corona virus information removed and July 2020 - Decisions summary added.

  5. Message regarding the impact of Covid-19 on our average timescales.

  6. The average timescales have been removed as we have postponed site visits, Hearings and Inquiries.

  7. To help delay the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are following Government advice on social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel. This has meant it necessary to postpone site visits, Hearings and Inquiries which has affected the time it is taking to deal with some appeals. We are looking ways to mitigate this by using technology and other ways to process appeals without risking the wellbeing of appellants, parties to an appeal and our staff.We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.

  8. Data updated with January 2020 figures

  9. Updated times added

  10. Average timescales updated

  11. Added a link to the Inspectorate's news item on Approach to casework during the pre-election period

  12. Average timescales updated

  13. Average timescales updated

  14. Average timescales updated

  15. Average timescales updated

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