Neighbourhood plans contain policies to help shape and deliver new development in an area. They’re a powerful tool for a community to have a say on future planning.
Under the terms of the Localism Act 2011, communities across England can choose to produce a neighbourhood plan.
Neighbourhood plans can set out a vision for an area and should contain planning policies for the use and development of land. A neighbourhood plan should be developed to help guide development, rather than to prevent it. Policies should cover local issues rather than strategic issues. For example, a plan could cover where new homes, shops or offices should go and which green spaces should be protected.
Neighbourhood planning cannot be used to block the building of the homes and businesses considered to be necessary to meet the district’s current and future needs. It can, however, influence the type, design, location and mix of new developments.
Who creates a neighbourhood plan?
Neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders can only be prepared by a Parish or Town Council in parished areas. In areas where there is no Parish or Town Council, a neighbourhood forum can lead on coordinating neighbourhood planning for your area. This could be an existing community organisation or a new group, but it will need to meet certain criteria.
What's the process for creating a neighbourhood plan?
There are three main stages in producing a neighbourhood plan:
- Getting established, including getting designated as a neighbourhood area, building an evidence base and engaging with local residents, partners and stakeholders.
- Preparing the plan, including any site allocations for new development and policies, completing a pre-submission consultation with community checking they support the plan and submitting the plan to the District Council who then undertake a further stage of consultation.
- Finally, the plan must be independently examined. It’s then put before the community in a referendum. If the community votes to ‘make’ (adopt) the plan, then it becomes part of the development plan and a material consideration when determining planning applications.
Interested in producing a neighbourhood plan?
We have a duty to assist interested councils and communities in producing their neighbourhood plans. For further details email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01636 650000.
Find out more about neighbourhood planning on the government website.