The Planning Inspectorate is to launch a graduate recruitment scheme to help it tackle workload pressures.
According to a PINS document, it is working with the University of West of England to pilot a graduate student program. The body aims to start the placements from January 2019.
In addition, PINS is looking to create a new tier in its staffing structure of planning appeals officers. The document says that PINS “expect that this group of people will become our future inspectors”.
In February, government figures on timescales for appeals handling by PINS revealed they were slipping almost across the board. By March 2018, the expected wait for appellants in written representation cases had risen to 24 weeks, a 25 per cent increase in less than a year. Average waits for hearings were 36 weeks.
The document said that PINS’ response response to these workload pressures is “one that recognises that we have to be smarter about who and when we recruit, offering different routes into our organisation”.
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