5 Steps Guide to Neighbourhood Planning
- Set up a Neighbourhood Forum and agree its Area of Coverage
- Prepare your Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order
- Independent check
- Community referendum
- Legal adoption of your Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order
See also the formal Neighbourhood Planning Regulations
You will need to establish a community group of at least 21 unrelated people who live in or run businesses in your local neighbourhood area and are sufficiently representative of that area, who will then lead on coordinating the neighbourhood planning for your area of interest. This may be an existing community organisation or you may wish to form a new group - the group must nevertheless have a formal constitution. Contact your local ward councillorsto ask them to be involved too. This community group must be formally approved by the council as a 'neighbourhood forum' for the purposes of doing neighbourhood planning.
You will also need to establish the boundaries of the neighbourhood area that your neighbourhood forum wish to plan for. This area of coverage will similarly need to be approved by the council, to ensure it makes sense for spatial planning purposes and that it does not overlap with any other neighbourhood planning area.
See our leaflet Designating Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Areas[pdf - 408kb] for how to apply and how we designate neighbourhood forums and areas.
You will need to collect together your community's ideas for the neighbourhood area and draw up your proposals for a neighbourhood plan and/or neighbourhood development order or community right to build order.
You will need to ensure that everyone living and working in and around your local community are appropriately consulted on your neighbourhood forum's proposals - including residents, local businesses and landowners, as well as relevant local, regional and national organisations and agencies. You may need to adjust your proposals in response to your consultation feedback.
Your planning and development proposals must nevertheless be in accordance with:
- international, European and national designations (eg. heritage and natural environment), and European environmental and human rights laws;
- national planning policies and laws, including the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework;
- the strategic policies and designations of the council's statutory Local Development Plan - you can plan for more but not less development than is required for your area by the Local Plan (neighbourhood planning cannot be used to prevent the building of homes and business required in the borough).
We can help advise and guide you on these matters and assist with aspects such as the consultation process, as well guiding you towards potential sources of funding support. The Government has also funded four independent community organisations who you may wish to approach to get help and advice: