PINS AND EMAILS - WHAT COULD GO WRONG ?



Electronic filing in appeals 


It is a fair guess that when the Planning Inspectorate say they are invoking the magic of modern IT, then something will go amiss.


The famously dour Wittgenstein is said to have made an uncharacteristic joke: “I will not say that I will see you tomorrow because I cannot predict the future”.  True, but one can hazard a fair guess based on past experience.

This brings me to the current advice in Procedural Guide Planning appeals – England (March 2020).  Appendix I1 (@p.57) states:

Documents submitted may be no bigger than 15mb each.

It is your responsibility to keep your documents to a manageable size.
If you have documents that are larger than this you can try the following;
      Break long documents into several files, but note the document naming conventions below.
      Try and use black and white wherever possible (unless submitting photographs).
      If submitting images, your software may have file/image compression facilities to make them smaller.
      Note scanned documents are usually bigger than nonscanned versions.
      Provided you are using the acceptable file types above, you can use ZIP files to compress documents.
      If you have a large file and you are unable to use the options listed, you can email anything up to 10mb to appeals@planninginspectorate.gov.uk Security Remove any document security and enable macros if necessary.  . . .” (Emphasis added)

The obvious problem is that the inclusion of photographs and the like will easily take one over the 15MB limit.  PINS deal with this by saying:

“ Send pictures, photographs, plans, maps or drawings as individual files. Avoid the use of bitmap images as they are very large.”

This sounds fine in theory, but problem is that somebody at the PINS end must print and collate these documents.  The resultant bundle will not, necessarily, be what the author intended.[1]

I hope I am wrong, but I do wonder what is difficult about using a cloud based facility such as ‘Dropbox’ ?  My Powerpoint slides for seminars are normally around 25MB and so they are delivered to the organisers via Dropbox.  This always works smoothly.  Likewise, I am aware that some Chambers use the cloud to receive papers for Counsel. 



[1] I will not say too much about the RCJ losing my electronic skeleton argument in a JR last year ! 

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