£1m cash injection helps restructured Inspectorate get to grips with planning appeals.

The Planning Inspectorate has slashed the backlog of planning appeals from 4700 in November 2004 to around 600, according to its annual report 2004/05, released today. The improvement follows a move by the office of the deputy prime minister in December, when a package of measures to tackle the backlog, including a cash injection of £1m, was announced.

Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said: "I am encouraged to see the Planning Inspectorate reduce its backlog in appeals. The recent restructuring will also enable it to meet the demands of a rising workload both now and in the longer term."

In the last four years the number of appeals received by the Planning Inspectorate has increased by almost 40 per cent.