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Neighbourhood planning process

Neighbourhood planning gives communities an opportunity to have a say in how development happens in their area. It gives communities a chance to influence development and what that looks like, protect green spaces and heritage.

There are three types of neighbourhood planning:

  • Neighbourhood plan which is a plan for future development of the area
  • Neighbourhood development order which give permission for certain types of development
  • Community right to build order which allows local communities to propose small, site-specific, community-led developments.

The Local Plan provides an overall framework for development across the whole district.

More information and help with the process of creating a plan is available from

Neighbourhood planning process

1. Designating a neighbourhood area

A parish or town council needs to submit a request for a neighbourhood area to us. To do this you need to send in:

  • a 1:10,000 map which identifies the area to which the application relates
  • statement explaining why this area is considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area
  • statement that the organisation or body making the area application is a relevant body for the purposes of section 61G of the 1990 Act

2. Preparing the plan

You will need to collect evidence and ideas from local people about what they want to see in their neighbourhood plan. It must be in line with current planning policy.

3. Independent check

Once a plan has been prepared it will be checked by an independent examiner. We will consider the examiner’s report and make recommendations for what should happen next.

4. Community referendum

We will organise a referendum on any plan that passes examination. If more than 50 per cent of people voting in the referendum support the plan, then we must bring it into force.

5. Legal force

Once the plan has been supported by the referendum it will become made. This means it is legally part of planning policy.

6. Implementation

Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries legal weight in planning decisions. We and where applicable, the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.