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The appointment of a new panel from which chairs of future Examinations in Public (EIP) of Structure Plans will be ...
The appointment of a new panel from which chairs of future Examinations in Public (EIP) of Structure Plans will be selected have been announced by planning minister Richard Caborn.

The panel, which will also be invited to chair non-statutory EIP-type hearings into draft regional planning guidance, was appointed following a recruitment exercise in the summer. Initial appointments will be for a maximum of five years.

Mr Caborn said: 'I am delighted we have been able to establish such a strong professional team from a wide variety of backgrounds. Each appointee comes with an excellent knowledge of the planning system and will have an invaluable contribution to make to the EIP process.'

The new chairmen/chairwomen are:

John Acton, former member of the management board of the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) and supervisor to the Lord Chancellor's panel of Independent Inspectors.

Stephen Crow, honorary professor of town and regional planning practice at the department of city and regional planning, Cardiff University (University of Wales) and former chief planning inspector and chief executive.

Ian Crowther, former director, planning, transport, and environment, Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber.

David Hands, QC specialising in planning matters.

Chris Offord, former director of technical services, Northumberland CC.

T J (Jim) Parke, planning consultant. Former assistant director of physical planning, Strathclyde RC.

Alan Richardson, former head of minerals and waste planning and land stability division, and previously head of European regional policy division, and regional policy division, Department of the Environment.

Corrine Swain, director, Ove Arup & Partners.

Adrian Smith, section head, planning and transportation department, Newcastle City Council.

Barry Turner, former head of planning, Barnet LBC. Has also acted as panel secretary to Hertfordshire EIP (1996) and for forthcoming Norfolk EIP (1998).


1. Section 35B of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 requires the structure plan authority to hold an Examination in Public of selected matters arising from structure plan proposals, unless the secretary of state directs them otherwise. An EIP is held to provide the structure planning authority with more information through public discussion of selected issues before reaching decisions on their plan. The EIP takes place before an independent chairman, appointed by the secretary of state, supported by one or two experts to form a panel. Following the EIP, the panel will report directly to the planning authority, giving opinion on the merits of the evidence and making recommendations about modifications which could be made to the plan.

2. The new arrangements for the non-statutory EIP type hearings into draft regional planning guidance are outlined in the DETR consultation paper 'The Future of Regional Planning Guidance'.

3. The positions are not salaried. The chairmen/women receive afee for work undertaken and travel and subsistence cost.

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