The Planning Inspectorate does not often exercise its right under section 79(6A)(a) of the Act but it’s worth noting that it will not hold an appeal in abeyance for ever. An appeal relating to the refusal of planning permission for six semi-detached affordable dwellings in north Wales dating from 2015 (DCS Number 400-031-412) provides an example.
Both appellants died during the course of the appeal and the case was therefore placed in abeyance whilst issues of probate and the potential for executors to proceed were investigated. Following a number of exchanges, however, both the appellants’ agent and the appellants’ executors ceased responding to the Inspectorate’s enquiries. Notice under S79(6A)(a) of the Act was therefore served on 20 May 2021 and a period of two weeks given for responses. No responses were received.
Given the time that had elapsed, the lack of communication in response to previous correspondence and the notice served under section 79(6A)(a) and an apparent lack of interest in the case, the appointed person found that the ongoing situation had caused considerable undue delay in the progress of the appeal. He found it necessary, therefore, to exercise the powers conferred by section 79(6A)(b), and dismissed the appeal.
The appeal process is covered at section 5.3 of DCP Online.