Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by the Localism Act 2011. They enable communities to have a say about the development and growth of their local area by introducing local planning policies which (if the Neighbourhood Plan is successful at examination and referendum) form part of the statutory Development Plan. This means the Neighbourhood Plan must to be taken into account when assessing planning applications for new development in that area.

There are several basic stages in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan, several of which are governed by specific legislation:

  1. Form a steering group
  2. Define the Neighbourhood Area (the area you want your plan to cover)
  3. Engage the community and gather evidence on the key issues to be addressed within the plan
  4. Prepare and consult on a draft Neighbourhood Plan
  5. Submit the Neighbourhood Plan to local authority
  6. Independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan
  7. Community referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan
  8. Making (adoption) of the Neighbourhood Plan by local authority

Responsibility for preparing a Neighbourhood Plan rests with the relevant town or parish councils, or, in cases where there is no such body, a properly constituted neighbourhood forum.

We support town and parish councils in the district that are developing a Neighbourhood Plan and can provide advice and guidance throughout the process. There is also potential financial support available through the council's Neighbourhood Planning Grant Scheme. The council will also organise the independent examination and referendum stages.

You can find more information from the main, national source of support for neighbourhood planning by visiting the Locality website. The Planning Practice Guidance website also provides further information on the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Planning Support

Telephone: 01508 533805