Prior to any hearing, or to the consideration of a case using the written procedure, the Inspector will visit the site but will not discuss the application with any of the parties.
This is because all interested parties have to make their case in writing, and discussing the matter with individual parties may be prejudicial to the appeal. On most occasions, the Appeal Secretary will accompany the Inspector.
There is normally no need for other people to take part in the site visit, unless the site cannot be seen properly from the road or public viewpoint. In such circumstances, the Appeal Secretary will contact the relevant parties in advance for permission to gain access.
If everyone agrees, the Inspector will consider the case on the basis of the written exchanges of information from the interested parties, as described above. The new information could include maps, plans and photographs but, of course, not oral evidence. To avoid extra costs and to get a decision as quickly as possible, most people only ask for a hearing if they think it is necessary. The Written Procedure is becoming an increasingly popular method of dealing with appeals.