The RICS is launching a planning mediation service which it said will reduce the deadlock between conflicting parties, alleviate the strain on the appeal process and save money both for public authorities and applicants.

Led by the RICS Dispute Resolution Services, the planning mediation service will give people access to professional mediators in the planning system.

There are 20,000 planning appeals every year costing around £30m.

The RICS said its service has been developed in response to recommendations in the Killian Pretty Review which said mediation should be used as a tool to speed up the planning process by resolving disputes quickly and amicably, and by encouraging dialogue and discouraging entrenched positioning.

Martin Burns, director of the RICS dispute resolution service, said:

“This service will provide both parties in a dispute some relief from what is a costly procedure for the local authority and for the appellant. Currently, the planning system is clogged up with combative appeals which more often than not result in a deadlocked situation. Mediation will provide a solution to this problem, save valuable time and improve transparency, speed and clarity."