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Information about working for the Planning Inspectorate

We have about 700 staff in the Planning Inspectorate plus around a further 90 people who carry out work for us under a variety of fee-paid contracts. The majority of our staff are  located in our offices in Bristol and Cardiff while our planning inspectors are home-based .

Planning inspectors

Our planning inspectors decide appeals under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and other environmental legislation, and carry out examinations into Local Development Frameworks (LDFs)/Local Development Plan (LDP) documents. 

Appeals are dealt with under one of three methods: public inquiry, hearing or by written representations.

The role of the inspector when dealing with appeals is to conduct inquiries and hearings and to carry out site visits, considering both written and oral evidence in order to reach fully reasoned decisions. 

When assessing the soundness of LDF or LDP documents the Inspector’s role is to carry out an examination in identifying the issues to be discussed and considering the evidence submitted in writing and heard orally. 

The inspector’s role is governed by the Inspectorate’s values of openness, fairness and impartiality.

Although our inspectors are home based, but inquiries, hearings, site visits and examinations are held in the district or country where the appeal is located. Travelling and overnight stays are therefore required at times. Inspectors may also be required to attend our offices in Bristol or Cardiff for meetings.Inspectors, or potential inspectors, are generally educated to degree level and have held senior positions in their career. They will also be members of a professional body, and be able to demonstrate an understanding or appreciation of planning issues.

Administrative staff

The majority of our 450 administrative staff work in our office at Temple Quay in Bristol, with 20 based at Cathays Park,  Cardiff.

Administrative staff carry out a wide range of functions, including:

  • Dealing with the public, assembling case files, agreeing dates for inquiries and site visits or issuing Inspectors’ decisions;
  • Providing direct support for Inspectors, particularly at long inquiries or when a large number of issues need to be considered;
  • Providing essential support functions in our Information Technology, Finance or Human Resources areas.

Our administrative staff have a wide range of skills, and where relevant, we encourage and support attainment of professional qualifications.


Our current vacancies can be found on the Civil Service Jobs website.

The Planning Inspectorate is an Equal Opportunities employer.  Applicants are welcomed from all suitably qualified people regardless of gender, marital status, race, disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief. Part time working is also considered.