Publication and independent examination
As soon as possible after receiving a Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order proposal the Council must publicise the Plan or Order and details of where it can be inspected and how to make representations. The consultation period must be a minimum of six weeks. The Council is also required to appoint an Examiner to undertake an independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order.
Following the close of the consultation period the Council is required to submit the Plan or Development Order to an Examiner, who then conducts the Examination. The nature of the Examination will be determined by the Examiner. Where significant representations are made it would be expected to include public hearing sessions, similar to those held in relation to the Council's Local Development Framework documents.
Report of the Examiner
The Examiner will set out his/her findings in a report. If the Plan or Order does not meet the right standards, the Examiner will recommend changes. The Council will then need to consider the Examiner's views and decide whether to make those changes.
If the Examiner recommends significant changes, then the neighbourhood forum may decide to consult the local community again before proceeding. The Council then publishes its decision and arranges a Neighbourhood Planning referendum in the neighbourhood on approval of the Plan or Development Order.