Independent Examination

The next step in the process

The Independant Examiner for our Neighbourhood Development Plan has been appointed, and started work in March 2021.


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The Independent Examination of our Neighbourhood Development Plan has started.  According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors the purpose of an independent examination is to assess whether a draft neighbourhood plan meets certain basic conditions and requirements set out in statute.

The examination is undertaken by an impartial examiner whose decision is independent of the local planning authority and the ‘qualifying body’ which initiated our Neighbourhood Development Plan, in our case Benenden Parish Council.  As well as being independent, the examiner must have appropriate qualifications and experience.  A neighbourhood plan examination considers only whether the plan meets specific basic conditions.  The independent examination will consider the evidence which supports the choices set out in the plan, quickly and efficiently.

An independent examiner will not consider the ‘soundness’ of the neighbourhood plan, or produce an alternative plan.  However, an independent examiner can recommend modifications which, if undertaken, will change a plan so that it better meets the basic conditions and/or other statutory requirements.

Our Independent Examiner was appointed in March.  So far the Examiner has undertaken visits to various sites in Benenden and across the wider Parish.  They are currently reviewing our Plan, the various Supporting Documents, alongside feedback recieved to the latest consultation.

Documents from the Examiner

We’ll post here any documents for the public from the Examiner.

Letter from Biddenden Parish Council on 24 March 2021

Examiner Initial Comments 26 March 2021