Minister for Planning, backs planning service.

Nick Boles MP, Minister for Planning, endorsed the Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service (NPIERS) during his keynote speech at the first RICS Localism and Neighbourhood Planning Symposium. Nick Boles spoke of how he was grateful to RICS members for supporting communities in bringing forward professional and respected neighbourhood plans.

According to the Minister, embracing localism, empowering neighbourhoods and having a cohort of expert advisors is core to the delivery of the 600 plans underway across the country.  Speaking to attendees at the symposium that included representatives of neighbourhood forums, parish councillors, town planners, NPIERS members and policy makers, Nick Boles MP outlined how he saw neighbourhood planning as a key reform that would be a lasting legacy of this government.

In the Minister’s eyes, the planning system should help resolve the natural tensions between areas.  Neighbourhood planning allows communities up and down the country, supported by the NPIERS, to do what they need to do for their community and embrace their responsibility to set our how they want their local area to look over the next five,10 and 15 years.  The Minister referred to excellent examples being set by those that have taken their plans to referendum and encouraged more forums to bring their plans forward.  While there is a huge number of plans in progress the Minister expressed his desire to see those areas who do not have an actively engaged community supported to enable them to produce plans and contribute to defining their neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhood Planning Independent Examiner Referral Service (NPIERS) is a cost-efficient service which supports the neighbourhood planning process by providing quick and easy access to impartial and highly qualified examiners on an ‘as needed’ basis.

NPIERS is an independent panel of professionals who can act as independent examiners for neighbourhood plans.  This resource has been developed in partnership with Planning Officers Society (POS), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and Locality with support from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

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