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Top Tips 
for 
Neighbourhood Plan Examinations 
Ann Skippers 
PAS Neighbourhood Planning Event, London 
4 March 2014
Appointment 
 LPA appoints but with agreement of the QB 
 Source an examiner once pre-submission 
consultation stage has been reached 
 Give as much information as you can on the 
application form: are any specialist skills needed? 
What are the key issues in the Plan or Order? 
Site allocations? 
 Be realistic about timing, level of risk etc. 
3
Selection 
 Names of three examiners will be put forward together with 
their CV, photo and their response to your application. This 
will usually be sufficient information to enable you to make 
an appointment 
 Make sure the procurement process is clear and 
transparent 
 Do you wish to tender or interview? If interviewing consider 
telephone, video or Skype rather than face to face. Who 
will be involved? 
 Limit questions to the process of examination and the 
examiner’s skills and experience – it is important that the 
merits of the Plan are not discussed 
 Try and provide feedback to the unsuccessful candidates 
 Agree contractual arrangements 
4
Working with the examiner 
 Agree how the LPA, QB and examiner will work 
together 
 Useful to have one point of contact 
 The ‘big box’ of documents 
 How long will the examination take? Is there a 
deadline to meet? 
 How will you keep in touch? How often will you 
keep in touch? 
 Should there be a site visit? 
5
Preparing for a hearing 
 Who does what? 
 Notice period for the hearing 
 Venue 
 Timing 
 Duration 
 Invitations to participants 
 Issues to be discussed 
 Site visits? 
 Note or record of the hearing 
6
The hearing 
 Accessibility 
 Seating arrangements 
 Refreshments and facilities – WCs, parking, audio 
equipment etc. 
 Social media 
 Recording proceedings 
 Press 
 Note taking 
 Examiner in charge – house rules 
8
Dealing with representations 
 Send copies to the examiner 
 A summary sheet is a very helpful addition 
 Dealing with late reps 
 ‘Ad hoc’ reps 
 Dealing with the public in general 
 Reps for or at the hearing 
 Fairness, openness and transparency
Issues to consider 
 How long will the examination take? A hearing will add time 
 Be realistic about timing and when to expect the report 
from the examiner 
 Bear in mind committee cycles and other internal 
procedures that will need to be followed once in receipt of 
the report 
 Does the QB have a date in mind? Has a referendum date 
already been suggested? 
 Do you want to allow a period for legal challenge? 
10
Bear in mind 
 Steep learning curve for everyone – including examiners 
 Consistency of approach desirable between plans in your 
area 
 Each examiner may have a different way of working 
 Liaise and keep in touch with the QB 
 Don’t underestimate time or resources needed to do it 
properly 
 Post examination press and publicity 
 Process does not stop at examination stage 
11
Contact 
E ann@annskippers.co.uk 
W www.annskippers.co.uk

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NPIERS (Ann Skippers) Neighbourhood Planning presentation

  • 1. Top Tips for Neighbourhood Plan Examinations Ann Skippers PAS Neighbourhood Planning Event, London 4 March 2014
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  • 3. Appointment  LPA appoints but with agreement of the QB  Source an examiner once pre-submission consultation stage has been reached  Give as much information as you can on the application form: are any specialist skills needed? What are the key issues in the Plan or Order? Site allocations?  Be realistic about timing, level of risk etc. 3
  • 4. Selection  Names of three examiners will be put forward together with their CV, photo and their response to your application. This will usually be sufficient information to enable you to make an appointment  Make sure the procurement process is clear and transparent  Do you wish to tender or interview? If interviewing consider telephone, video or Skype rather than face to face. Who will be involved?  Limit questions to the process of examination and the examiner’s skills and experience – it is important that the merits of the Plan are not discussed  Try and provide feedback to the unsuccessful candidates  Agree contractual arrangements 4
  • 5. Working with the examiner  Agree how the LPA, QB and examiner will work together  Useful to have one point of contact  The ‘big box’ of documents  How long will the examination take? Is there a deadline to meet?  How will you keep in touch? How often will you keep in touch?  Should there be a site visit? 5
  • 6. Preparing for a hearing  Who does what?  Notice period for the hearing  Venue  Timing  Duration  Invitations to participants  Issues to be discussed  Site visits?  Note or record of the hearing 6
  • 7.
  • 8. The hearing  Accessibility  Seating arrangements  Refreshments and facilities – WCs, parking, audio equipment etc.  Social media  Recording proceedings  Press  Note taking  Examiner in charge – house rules 8
  • 9. Dealing with representations  Send copies to the examiner  A summary sheet is a very helpful addition  Dealing with late reps  ‘Ad hoc’ reps  Dealing with the public in general  Reps for or at the hearing  Fairness, openness and transparency
  • 10. Issues to consider  How long will the examination take? A hearing will add time  Be realistic about timing and when to expect the report from the examiner  Bear in mind committee cycles and other internal procedures that will need to be followed once in receipt of the report  Does the QB have a date in mind? Has a referendum date already been suggested?  Do you want to allow a period for legal challenge? 10
  • 11. Bear in mind  Steep learning curve for everyone – including examiners  Consistency of approach desirable between plans in your area  Each examiner may have a different way of working  Liaise and keep in touch with the QB  Don’t underestimate time or resources needed to do it properly  Post examination press and publicity  Process does not stop at examination stage 11
  • 12. Contact E ann@annskippers.co.uk W www.annskippers.co.uk