New service launched to enhance planning system

RICS has been appointed to manage a new Expert Appointments in Planning Service in order to increase the capacity and capability of the planning inspectorate in England and Wales.

The service will provide experts to advise on development plan documents, speeding up and streamlining the plan making process.

The advisers will support the work of planning inspectors on major casework and local development plan work submitted for independent examination.

Where there is a need for specialist evidence to be tested, the inspectorate will now have quick and efficient access to the relevant professional advice.

It will also enable the planning inspectorate to further assist Local Planning Authorities in making the right judgements in these more challenging times.

The appointments service will be managed by RICS Dispute Resolution Services, which will establish a pool of expert advisers to represent a wide cross-section of skills knowledge and experience.

Expert advisers will be required to demonstrate they are leaders in their field and will have to be members of a recognised professional body (e.g. RICS, RTPI, PEBA, RIBA, ICE, IHT and Landscape Institute).

Martin Burns, director of RICS DRS, said: "This service will be a welcome benefit to the planning system by adding a valuable resource which will assist in speeding up the planning process.

"This initiative is indicative of the Inspectorate’s determination to modernise the planning system, and it represents a great opportunity for a wide range of professionals to work as expert advisers in a variety of areas related to planning and planning issues."