Knaggs' decision raises doubts over competence

I've noted with some interest the criticisms directed at Ron Tate in letters to Planning for questioning the impartiality of decisions made by some planning inspectors.

I was taken aback at Tate's claims as, from what I can see, these chaps do a jolly good job in tough circumstances. But I've had a rethink in the light of the Grotton appeal decision used to train inspectors and the thought processes leading up to it set out by Inspector Knaggs (Planning, 5 October, p18).

This raises serious questions about the competence of said inspector, and casts a dark shadow over the whole of the Planning Inspectorate. It's not good for Grotton, either. Could it be one of the first authorities to have its planning control powers taken away under the new government proposals?

Colin Wood, Salford.

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