Handling environmental appeals through hearings or local inquiries: code of practice

Planning and Environmental Appeals Division code of practice on procedures for handling environmental appeals.

Initial exchange of written representations

7. The usual provisions for submitting and responding to environmental appeals set out in the legislation listed in paragraph 1 above, or regulations made under that legislation, will continue to apply. Annex C contains a summary of those provisions. Where the relevant primary or secondary legislation makes no express provision for exchange of written representations we have set out in the Annex how we propose to handle those appeals. One of the main objectives of the recent reform of the planning appeals system was to front-load the appeal process with parties submitting full details of their case and supporting evidence at the outset of the appeal. In the interests of efficiency the Scottish Ministers expect environmental appeals to be conducted in the same way. Parties should submit full details of their case, including any supporting documents, within the timescales set for those statutory exchanges of information. All matters will normally be dealt with under that exchange, with no need for further submissions.

8. After the initial exchange of written representations, the appeal will be allocated to a reporter to determine what, if any, further procedure is required.

9. If neither the appellant nor SEPA has requested a hearing and if the reporter is satisfied that there is sufficient information to determine the appeal, the reporter will proceed to determine the appeal without reference to this code of practice.

10. If the reporter considers that further written representations are needed, these will be requested.

11. Where either the appellant or SEPA has requested a hearing or where the reporter considers that a hearing session or an inquiry session would be desirable, this code of practice sets out the procedures that will be followed.

12. The reporter will ensure that the appeal is determined as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Requests for consideration of the appeal to be suspended or delayed ('sisted') will only be granted where the reporter is satisfied that this would be in the public interest.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit ceu@gov.scot

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