The local authority (WDBC) will appoint a person, the ‘Independent Examiner’, to carry out an independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan. This appointment will need agreement by the Group and it must be an appropriately qualified and experienced person with attributes including:

  • knowledge and experience in current planning policy, legislation, and procedures

  • appropriate qualification and membership of an appropriate professional body

  • freedom from conflicts of interest or bias (real or perceived)

  • experience and ability to weigh evidence and to deal with a range of people of varying levels of knowledge

  • ability to make sound and impartial professional judgments

The examiner will only consider whether the proposed Neighbourhood Plan meets the basic conditions set out by law and that it:

  • has appropriate regard to national policy

  • contributes to the achievement of sustainable development

  • is in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the local area

  • is compatible with human rights requirements

  • is compatible with EU obligations

The examination is often undertaken by written representations, but may involve a public hearing.