The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced in March 2012, and the Localism Bill, 2011, placed a great deal of importance on planning at a local and neighbourhood level.
Local people now have the opportunity to come together and create a vision for the future of their communities through neighbourhood planning.
Neighbourhood plans are not able to influence the volume of housing or development in their area, but they can have a say in where this development goes, and what it looks like.
The plans must be formed by a steering group who may be drawn from the parish council, or directly from the community itself. The neighbourhood plan must be consistent with the policies set out in the local plan – which is itself aligned with the direction of the NPPF.
Help with neighbourhood planning
Help and support can be found from a variety of sources. We’ve pulled together some of the best funding opportunities and resources to help you get started if you’re considering forming a neighbourhood plan.
The Eden Project has a number of neighbourhood planning case studies as well as several videos from useful conferences and presentations. Topics include using social media and web in community engagement and how to write a neighbourhood plan.
Locality run a series of ‘planning camps’ and other intensive support for neighbourhood planning.
Communityplanning.net provides an extensive, comprehensive, step-by-step guide to neighbourhood planning.
For neighbourhood planning on a smaller-scale, Sustrans DIY streets has practical advice on everything from getting the local press involved to running a meeting.
English Heritage also offer a good overview of the history and policies connected to neighbourhood planning.
Campaign to Protect Rural England has a number of guides to neighbourhood planning as well as more in-depth reports.
And if you'd like more information on what neighbourhood planning is, you'll find lots of useful resources from Forum for Neighbourhood Planning.