We will look at feedback submitted before or after the decision has been issued. Either way we will take your comments seriously and investigate immediately.
You can send complaints or feedback to us by:
The Planning Inspectorate,
How we investigate
When we receive a complaint, we will acknowledge it, investigate and reply as soon as possible. We aim to respond within 20 working days. In the unlikely case where you have not received either an acknowledgement or a full reply regarding your letter, please contact us on 0303 444 5940.
Inspectors have no further direct involvement in the case once their decision is issued. It is the role of the Complaints Officer to investigate complaints or queries about decisions and inspectors' conduct, or the administrative process that supported the appeal. All complaints are investigated thoroughly and impartially, and we will reply in clear, straightforward language, avoiding jargon and complicated legal terms.
To assist our investigations we may need to ask the Inspector or other staff for their comments on your correspondence. This helps us to gain as full a picture as possible so that we are better able to decide whether an error has been made.
Once our investigations are complete, we will send a full reply comprehensively responding to all substantive points raised. Any further correspondence in reply to this will be subject to our complaints escalation policy and reviewed by a senior manager.
Our response will include details about how to contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, if you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your complaint. The Ombudsman may investigate complaints about the work of Government Departments and Agencies such as the Planning Inspectorate. It is important to highlight that the Ombudsman does not have the power to alter or change an Inspector's decision.
Putting things right
Where maladministration or an error by the Planning Inspectorate has led to injustice or hardship, we will try to offer a remedy that returns the complainant to the position they would have been in otherwise. If that is not possible, the Planning Inspectorate will provide compensation for unnecessary expense incurred as a direct result of our error where there are compelling reasons to do so.
The Planning Inspectorate will consider carefully complaints and requests for financial compensation received within 6 months of the date of the error or of any subsequent appeal decision by the Inspectorate related to that error.
Remedies which may be offered include:
- an apology, explanation, and acknowledgement of responsibility,
- remedial action, which may include one or any combination of:
- reviewing service standards,
- revising published material,
- revising procedures to prevent the same thing happening again,
- training or supervising staff.
- financial compensation for costs incurred as a direct result of the Inspectorate's error.
Help and advice
We try hard to ensure that everyone who uses the appeal system is satisfied with the service they receive from us. Planning appeals often raise strong feelings and it is inevitable that there will be at least one party who will be disappointed with the outcome of the appeal.
Further information can be found in our publication Feedback, Complaints and Challenges.