The Planning Inspectorate's website states that the Programme Officer's office arrangements should be as follows:
- Very close to the Hearing venue and separate for the LPA Planning Department
- Accessible to all members of the public during normal office hours
- Equipped with the usual desks, chairs, filing cabinets, stationery etc. A direct phone line and separate fax line are necessary, as is an answering machine. A photocopier should be provided, which can be used to copy documents for visitors, at either minimal or no charge
Anyone who elects to make a submission has to provide 6 copies of the submission plus 6 copies of the documentation supporting their submission and this can amount to a great deal of paper. When one also factors in the fact that many organisations and individuals are unpaid and making their submissions in their own time without the support of consultants and administration staff it is not surprising that the task is totally overwhelming for many people and the process hardly seems fair or acceptable.