Neighbourhood Plan Independent Examiner

Kevan Carrick of JK is appointed to the Panel of NPIE’s. JK’s Kevan Carrick has completed a number of master plans and completed successful regeneration renewal projects. All have been the subject of community group consultation, even before the recognition of the need for such consultation. Early in the process, ownership by the local community was recognised by regeneration master plans as the key to long term success. It also helped to speed up the planning process.

The provision of the National Planning Policy Framework is considered by JK to be a ‘breath of fresh air’. It requires a change of culture from the ‘process’ of planning to the delivery of economic objectives, subject to sustainable goals.

The proposals of the Localism Act are less clearly defined, but when combined with the provisions of the NPPF bring a welcome ‘bottom up’ approach to the planning of a neighbourhood.

Such neighbourhood plan preparation requires the involvement of all stakeholders within the neighbourhood. Not just the residents but all stakeholders including businesses, land owners and developers. Formulating a neighbourhood plan requires compliance with the Local Plan for the area and implementation of national policy. But local decisions are the subject of examinations by an Independent Examiner, who may recommend approval or some amendments or referral to represent the plan after fundamental changes. If approved, the plan goes for a local referendum that requires a 50% vote to be adopted.

The overall approach is to remove the preparation of neighbourhood plan from a process driven culture to one of consultation. It is considered that the time taken in the full and proper consultation will speed up the planning application process and result in a more speedy decision process.

Kevan is a chartered surveyor and mediator. He was chosen to train the first cohort of potential Independent Examiners in communication skills based on his mediation training and experience in facilitating disputes. He is also a member of the RICS Panel of Planning and Environmental Mediators.

Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service (NPIERS)