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Neighbourhood first for Carrick

Thursday 20 December 2012 5:00

A North East-based chartered surveyor has been announced as one of the country’s first Neighbourhood Plan Independent Examiners (NPIEs) appointed to a new UK panel.

The position will see Kevan Carrick, from JK Property Consultants, act as one of just 19 NPIEs nationally tasked with ensuring neighbourhood plans meet the requirements set out in regulations arising from the Localism Act.

The new NPIE role is designed to support the neighbourhood planning process following a raft of planning reforms introduced by the government earlier this year.

It has been introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Planning Officers Society, the Royal Town Planning Institute, Action with Communities in Rural England and Locality.

The panel also has the support of the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The NPIE scheme opened in November and applicants were tested over two days on their level of professional competence and ability to effectively operate in a quasi judicial role.

The assessment also required applicants to display an in depth understanding of the Localism agenda, neighbourhood planning, wider policy issues and a commitment to continuous professional development, as well as excellent communication and negotiation skills.

Carrick said: “To have secured NPIE status is fantastic news and underlines the hard work I have carried out to really get under the skin of the government’s new planning reforms and to educate the wider North East business community about them too. The appointment recognises the vast experience I am able to bring to the table, which is very rewarding.

“For a long time there have been calls to simplify the planning process to allow schemes to be delivered more speedily and effectively and to reduce the amount of litigation involved. The introduction of Neighbourhood Plans has been a good move in this regard and now the arrival of the NPIEs is another positive step in the right direction.”

Martin Burns at RICS, said: “Collaboration at the planning stage is now a must and we have been working with other industry bodies to create a independent panel of highly qualified professionals who can act as independent examiners quickly and with minimum cost.”