Neighbourhood Plan Examinations

AUGUST UPDATES: Please contact us for latest examiner availability.

  • Wootton Neighbourhood Plan (Bedford) pending submission (Examiner: David Hogger).
  • Stainton and Thornton Neighbourhood Plan (Middlesbrough) pending submission (Examiner: Patrick Whitehead).
  • Grafham and Ellington Neighbourhood Plan (Huntingdonshire) pending submission (Examiner: Andrew Freeman).
  • West Tytherley, West Dean, Frenchmoor and Buckholt Neighbourhood Plan (Test Valley) pending submission (Examiner: David Hogger).
  • Egerton Neighbourhood Plan (Ashford) examination in progress (Examiner: Derek Stebbing).
  • Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan (Dorset) examination in progress (Examiner: Andrew Mead).
  • Worlaby Neighbourhood Plan (North Lincolnshire) examination in progress (Examiner: Patrick Whitehead).
  • West Clandon Neighbourhood Plan (Guildford) pending submission (Examiner: Andrew Mead).
  • Georgeham Neighbourhood Plan (North Devon) examination in progress (Examiner: Andrew Mead).
  • Compton Neighbourhood Plan (West Berkshire) examination in progress (Examiner: Andrew Mead).
  • Dalwood Neighbourhood Plan (East Devon) examination in progress (Examiner: Jill Kingaby).
  • Gravenhurst Neighbourhood Plan (Central Bedfordshire) examination in progress (Examiner: Derek Stebbing).
  • South Cerney Neighbourhood Plan (Cotswold) examination in progress (Examiner: Andrew Mead).
  • Water Orton Neighbourhood Plan (North Warwickshire) examination in progress (Examiner: Mary O'Rourke).
  • Great Barford Neighbourhood Plan (Bedford) examination in progress (Examiner: Wendy Burden).
  • Willington Neighbourhood Plan (Bedford) examination in progress (Examiner: Wendy Burden).
  • Denham Neighbourhood Plan (Buckinghamshire) examination in progress (Examiner: Andrew Freeman).
  • Harrold Neighbourhood Plan (Bedford) examination in progress (Examiner: Mary O'Rourke).
  • Warfield Neighbourhood Plan (Bracknell Forest) examination in progress following suspension (Examiner: Mary O'Rourke).
  • Several local authorities have now put in place formal contracts with IPe to provide examiners for all their neighbourhood plans.
  • For more updates please see the 'Recent Examinations' section below.

A Proportionate Approach

We fundamentally understand that the assessment of the basic conditions of a neighbourhood plan is set in a wholly different context to assessing the soundness of a local plan. It is absolutely essential that your examiner recognises that the bar for meeting the 'basic conditions', and certain other legal matters, is quite different to the rigour of meeting the local plan soundness requirements. Similarly there is no role for other material considerations.

Experienced Examiners with full Office Team Support

Unlike local plans, the appointment of the examiner is made by the local planning authority in agreement with the qualifying body. You will need to be satisfied that your chosen examiner is independent and has appropriate experience and qualifications. The examiner must also have no interest in any land that may be affected by the proposed plan.

You may have full confidence that our RTPI member Neighbourhood Plan examiners are properly assessed for each appointment to meet these requirements.

IPe examiners are fully supported by an office team who are conversant with the Neighbourhood Planning system and will manage the efficient flow of communications and documents throughout the examination.

Examination Procedure

There is an assumption in the legislation that the examination will ordinarily be carried out wholly by the Written Representation process. There is no statutory right to be heard although the hearing of evidence from parties, at the examiner's discretion, may in certain circumstances be beneficial to the examination and achieving support for the plan. In the event that a hearing session(s) is necessary, you can be certain our examiners are highly experienced in holding such procedures.

All IPe examiners follow the procedural good practice set out in Part Two of the publication, Guidance to service users and examiners. This comprehensive guidance on the examination process was produced by a sector led working party comprising examiners and representatives from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Town Planning Institute, Intelligent Plans and Examinations, Locality and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Quality Assurance of Your Report

The office team will keep you fully appraised of the progress of your examination against the agreed timetable and, when the report is drafted, will arrange for the draft report to be subject to a quality assurance check (full details available on request) by another IPe professional planner. This stage will be built into the timetable and we will agree with you a date for delivery of the final report, allowing for a period of 'fact check' by you to address any minor factual matters in the examiner's recommendations.

How effective is IPe's Neighbourhood Plan Examination Service?

A Parish Council's Perspecitve....

"The Chilbolton Parish Council has asked me to express our thanks for your excellent Examiner's report and the thoughtful and prompt manner in which it was delivered.

Frankly, we had expected a tough time from the appointed Examiner but with your experienced and helpful modifications and kind comments we are satisfied that our Neighbourhood Plan will be an effective tool which will benefit our parish in the coming years. A future update should be a much easier task when the time comes."

Tony Ewer, Parish Councillor and Chair of Chilbolton NP Working Group

A Local Authority's Perspective....

"From initial contact, through to the issuing of the final report we found the service provided by IPE to be extremely professional. We were kept updated, and notified of the examiners unaccompanied site visit, as well as the likely timescales for his reporting. What impressed us the most was IPE's quality assurance processes as this gave us confidence in both the process and the outcome.

We would have no hesitation in recommending IPE for Neighbourhood Plan examinations. They offer a highly professional, value for money service."

Cheryl Parks, Project Manager, Spatial Policy, Maidstone Borough Council

Fixed Price Examination

We offer fixed price options for your Neighbourhood Plan examination, which we believe are very competitive (if preferred, we can equally work on the traditional day rate basis). We will also provide you with a choice of examiners for your consideration.

We will undertake an initial FREE, no obligation, appraisal of the draft plan to determine its complexity for fee charging purposes. We will use several key indicators including whether it makes site allocations; the extent of the public representations and the potential need for a hearing session(s).

Recent Examinations (2021)

  • Report issued on the Holwell Neighbourhood Plan Review (4 August 2021), Dorset. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Mead.
  • Report issued on the Milton Ernest Neighbourhood Plan (28 July 2021), Bedford. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: David Hogger.
  • Report issued on the Sharnbrook Neighbourhood Plan (19 July 2021), Bedford. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Wendy Burden.
  • Report issued on the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Plan (15 July 2021), Tower Hamlets. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner : Jill Kingaby.
  • Report issued on the Hugglescote and Donington le Heath Neighbourhood Plan (8 July 2021), North West Leicestershire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Mead.
  • Report issued on the Stewkley Neighbourhood Plan (8 July 2021), Buckinghamshire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Long Stratton Neighbourhood Plan (5 July 2021), South Norfolk. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Langford Neighbourhood Plan (24 June 2021), Central Bedfordshire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Wareham Neighbourhood Plan (9 June 2021), Dorset. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: David Hogger.
  • Report issued on the Queen's Park Neighbourhood Plan (8 June 2021), Westminster. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Jill Kingaby.
  • Report issues on the Hilton, Marston-on-Dove and Hoon Neighbourhood Plan (26 May 2021), South Derbyshire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the Ash Neighbourhood Plan (5 May 2021), Dover, Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the Totternhoe Neighbourhood Plan (29 April 2021), Central Bedfordshire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Turvey Neighbourhood Plan (22 April 2021), Bedford. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Wendy Burden.
  • Report issued on the Foxton Neighbourhood Plan (20 April 2021), South Cambridgeshire. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Soho Neighbourhood Plan (19 April 2021), Westminster. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Jill Kingaby.
  • Report issued on the Boughton Aluph & Eastwell Parishes Neighbourhood Plan (1 April 2021), Ashford. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the The Salings Neighbourhood Plan (26 March 2021), Braintree. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the Updated Marton Village Neighbourhood Plan (11 March 2021), Cheshire East. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Freeman.
  • Report issued on the Ashington Neighbourhood Plan (9 March 2021), Horsham. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: David Hogger.
  • Report issued on the Utkinton and Cotebrook Neighbourhood Plan (8 March 2021), Cheshire West and Chester. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Mead.
  • Report issued on the Otham Neighbourhood Plan (4 March 2021), Maidstone. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the Horsham Blueprint Business Neighbourhood Plan (18 February 2021), Horsham. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Derek Stebbing.
  • Report issued on the Hankelow Neighbourhood Plan (22 February 2021), Cheshire East. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Patrick Whitehead.
  • Report issued on the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Plan (16 February 2021), Westminster. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Jill Kingaby.
  • Report issued on the Darnhall Neighbourhood Plan (1 February 2021), Cheshire West and Chester. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Mead.
  • Report issued on the Preston Neighbourhood Plan (28 January 2021), Cotswold. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Mead.
  • Report issued on the Martock Neighbourhood Plan (21 January 2021), South Somerset. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Jill Kingaby.
  • Report issued on the Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan (18 January 2021), Cheshire East. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: Andrew Seaman.
  • Report issued on the Farringdon Neighbourhood Plan (11 January 2021), East Devon. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: David Hogger.
  • Report issued on the Chickerell Neighbourhood Plan (6 January 2021), Dorset. Neighbourhood Plan Examiner: David Hogger.

Click HERE for examinations undertaken in the last 5 years (2020 back to 2016).

Neighbourhood Plan Examinations