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Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Open group | Started - July 2012 | Last activity - Today

Neighbourhood Forum re-designation, plan consultation & examination timing

Andrew Chalmers, modified 8 Months ago.

Neighbourhood Forum re-designation, plan consultation & examination timing

Advocate Posts: 169 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts

My authority needs to consult on both a neighbourhood forum re-designation (it expired at the end of last year) and carry out the formal consultation on the plan prior to its examination.

We intend to consult on both at the same time, effectively with the same people anyway.

However I would value any advice about how to manage the examiner/examination timing.  It is obviously hoped that the forum designation would simply be rubber-stamped but until this happens we cannot (in my view) proceed to examination.

I was envisaging that we would need to sign up an approved examiner during the consultation period but with the proviso that we cannot passport on any representations or participate in any examination processes prior to the forum being approved.

Any views or experience that people can share would be much appreciated. 

Lee Armitage, modified 8 Months ago.

RE: Neighbourhood Forum re-designation, plan consultation & examination tim

New Member Posts: 2 Join Date: 20/02/19 Recent Posts

Hi Andrew

It is not clear from your post when the 5 year Forum designation expires but, as you suggest, it would not be appropriate to submit the Plan for examination until the Forum is formally redesignated.

In terms of timing of the examiner appointment, in our experience most authorities send prospective examination providers a link to the Reg. 16 documents when published online for consultation. Thie enables a proposal to be put together based on an assessment of those documents in terms of anticipated time needed (days) to examine, cost etc, along with the prospective Examiner resume(s) for the authority and qualifying body to consider.

It is quite normal for LPAs to caveat the timing of the submission for examination at Reg 17 subject to any internal/local considerations, and most examiners/providers will invariably be flexible in this regard.  

If you want to discuss, my direct email is

Andrew Chalmers, modified 3 Months ago.

RE: Neighbourhood Forum re-designation, plan consultation & examination tim

Advocate Posts: 169 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts

So we have moved on and are almost at the end of consulting for just over 6 weeks on the forum "re-designation" and also Reg 16 on the Forum's detailed plan. 

But we have recently received indication that an objector is likely to question whether Reg 16 consultation should even have taken place in the absence of an approved forum (it having expired since the plan has been submitted to the council). 

While I understand the logic, pragmatically that would have potentially delayed the plan consultation for a considerable time.  And given the council's role at Reg 16 is not as a decision maker but effectively as a means to get representations about the plan onto a subsequent examiner, there was no decision for the council realistically to take and so the presence or otherwise of a formally approved forum was not thought about.

I will probably have to seek advice from my own legal colleagues but does anyone have any regulatory or legal feel on this.  I realise it is probably unusual that forums expire so soon after actually submitting plans...but then again quite possibly reflects the under-estimate of the time that volunteer-led forums will take getting plans up and running and the very crude expiry mechanism under regulations.

Any advice to think about gratefully received.