11 January 2012


In case you were wondering, I've been busy.

Too busy to post a tiny blog?

OK, you got me there. Nobody is too busy to post a blog. It takes no time at all.

Let me explain, so you understand what this sort of busy involves.

It all has to do with the Planning Inspectorate. Who? Ah, yes. These are the people who advise the government about planning applications that have been refused by a planning authority. Your local council is probably your planning authority if you live in England. If you don't live in England, you might not have one at all. In which case, life must be simpler.

Anyway, times are hard for the Planning Inspectorate. Planning applications are fewer and further between than when banks would lend money so that things could be built. Planning authorities are happier to receive applications and more likely to approve them than ever before.

So, the Planning Inspectorate are not busy.

It used to be that they were so busy it could take years to process a planning appeal. Now it's a matter of weeks.

The public enquiry I'm involved with started on the 10th of January. That might seem reasonably civilised but it has meant researching information, producing my proof of evidence complete with thick appendices, reading the other side's proofs, writing a rebuttal proof, dealing with their rebuttal proofs and preparing a detailed document for cross examination of witnesses. Everything had to be finished for the 3rd of January.

We tried complaining but they were more than happy to have some work to do at last and couldn't face putting it off a week so that I could have Christmas.

Now that I'm at the enquiry, I am living in a pub/hotel and working from before dawn to long after dusk. There would be three weeks of this to look forward to if it wasn't for next week in the Crown Court by way of light relief. Please note that the term 'light relief' is irony.

When I stop being busy doing enquiry and court work, I'll get back to editing Due Diligence and writing Proceeds of Crime.

I bet you are wondering where I get my inspiration from.

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