Currently advisory visits happen with practicing inspectors advising is a draft submission plan has flaws which need to be improve to be found sound. They cannot however suggest specific changes in response to soundness problems raised by objectors.
However Boles in the Westminster Hall debate yersterday said:
Regarding help for authorities, I will make an offer to everyone here in Westminster Hall who has an authority that is having difficulty resolving the final objections to a plan that is still in draft form. It is that I am very happy to ask officials in my Department and—perhaps even more usefully—the recently retired chief inspector and another recently retired very senior inspector to meet those authorities to help them, in a sense, to understand what are the practical things they have to do to get the plan to a point where it can pass examination.
I fully understand that there is a frustration, namely that people cannot negotiate with an inspector, because an inspector is basically like a judge; it would be like someone negotiating with a judge in court as to whether they will be found guilty or not. The inspectors cannot negotiate, but that is why we have created a resource within the Department that is able to provide that practical support, and I am very happy to offer it to Cheshire East and to other boroughs where it would be necessary.