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Neighbourhood planning process

Neighbourhood planning gives communities an opportunity to have a say in how development happens in their area.

The neighbourhood plan can influence:

  • where new housing or employment might be located in the area
  • types of development, including materials to be used for new development
  • opportunities for green infrastructure, for example, open spaces, pedestrian paths

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 areas and areas with approved plans are available to view as a map.

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:

  • an application form
  • 1:50,000 or OS Vector Map Local (the replacement for 1:10,000). These can be in either black or white or colour, but we need a clear boundary of the proposed area to be marked in colour

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.