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Invitation to join Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Panel

Planning professionals are invited to join in an exciting initiative which is being developed in conjunction with the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) by:

  • the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
  • the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • the Planning Officers Society (POS)
  • Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE)
  • and Locality

The Independent Examiner Referral Panel

The purpose of the initiative is to support the neighbourhood planning process, for the benefit of local authorities and community groups.

The Localism Act requires independent examiners of neighbourhood (development) plans and neighbourhood development orders[1] to be appointed by the local planning authority with the consent of either the parish council, or designated neighbourhood forum for the designated neighbourhood area.

Qualified professionals who are experienced in planning and development are invited to apply to join a panel from which independent examiners will be drawn to examine neighbourhood plans and development orders. The panel and referral services will be managed by RICS in conjunction with RTPI, POS, ACRE, Locality and DCLG.

Professionals who are currently employed at a senior level, or are recently retired, and are qualified members of professional bodies with extensive experience in their specialist areas would be well suited to apply. Applicants will also be expected to have a wide ranging knowledge and understanding of planning, especially neighbourhood planning under the Localism Act and be regarded by their peers as highly experienced..

The main criteria for appointment to the panel are a high degree of relevant professional competence and an ability to operate in a quasi judicial role effectively. This reflects the fact that successful neighbourhood plans being examined will form part of the statutory development plan for the local area and neighbourhood development order will grant planning permission to development which complies with the order.

Applicants must also demonstrate a range of personal skills and knowledge including:

An appreciation of the differing levels of skills and knowledge in neighbourhood groups

An ability to manage the process with flexibility and efficiency

Excellent communication skills, both oral and writing (must be able to write reports in an accessible, coherent and consistent style)

An ability to deal with a wide range of personality dynamics and 'real world' problems

Fees and expenses

It is intended that remuneration for independent examiners will be based on a daily rate of £700 (plus VAT) and reasonable expenses.


Download the criteria for panel membership. An application form can be found here.

If you wish to apply to join the panel, please refer to the criteria and forward an up to date CV and completed application form via email to:

Paul Taylor

Product Manager at RICS

[1] Including Community Right to Build Orders