Procedure Guide for Local Plan Examinations

Guide aimed at all those involved in the process and concerned with the procedural aspects of examining a local plan.

Applies to England



This guide includes advice on:

  • Before submission
  • Submission
  • Initial assessment and organisation of the hearing sessions
  • Preparation for the hearing sessions
  • Conduct of the hearing sessions
  • Main modifications to the plan
  • The Inspector’s report
  • Quality assurance, fact-check procedure and delivery of final report to the LPA
  • Other procedures
Published 13 May 2014
Last updated 10 February 2023 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated around the setting up and running of events.

  2. Linking off to new guide: Local plans: taking part in examinations


  4. Link to Privacy policy updated

  5. This sixth edition has been updated to take account of recent experience of examinations and the advisory visits which Inspectors make to local planning authorities LPAs.

  6. Please note that the Procedure Guide pre-dates measures to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) and it may not currently be possible to follow some of the advice it contains.

  7. Booklet updated

  8. Guide updated to take account of more recent refinements in practice and the update to the Planning Practice Guidance published on 19 May 2016

  9. First published.