Planning Inspectors act on behalf of the Secretary of State to assess whether a Local Plan is suitably thought through, and whether it satisfies the statutory requirements, following a transparent and rigorous public examination process. The inspector is responsible for making recommendations to the local planning authority.
The decision whether to adopt a Local Plan is made by the local planning authority. They may choose to withdraw a Local Plan after considering the inspector’s report.
While there is no formal mechanism to appeal against the recommendations in an inspector’s report, the adopted Local Plan could be challenged in the High Court on a point of law.
The Secretary of State also has powers to intervene in the Local Plan process if he thinks that a local development document is unsatisfactory. However, wherever possible, Government wants to allow local planning authorities to decide on whether to adopt a plan, without interference from central Government.