Neighbourhood Planning

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood Planning is a key part of the Localism Act, through this the government has enabled local communities to have a direct say in the future of development of the local area.

Neighbourhood Planning is a new way to help communities play a greater role in shaping the future of the places where they live and work.

Neighbourhood Planning Tools:-

  • Neighbourhood Plans
  • Neighbourhood Development Orders
  • Community Right to Build Orders

What is a Neighbourhood Plan? 

By producing a Neighbourhood Plan this will allow the community to set our the vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area, providing new facilities, or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development they would like to see within their parish or Neighbourhood Area.

*Neighbourhood Planning should focus on guiding development rather than preventing it*

Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been 'made' and adopted by the Local Planning Authority it will become part of the Local Development Framework and used in the decision-making process of planning applications within the area. 

Key principles of a Neighbourhood Plan

  • Community initiated - led by the Parish/Town Council or a designated Neighbourhood Forum in non-parished areas;
  • Must be in general conformity with national and local planning policies and EU Laws;
  • Must be realistic; and
  • Must be based on evidence & agreed through consultations with the community.

Who should be involved?

Where there is a parish/town council in place they should initiate and lead the process and a designated Neighbourhood Forum should initiate and lead the process in non-parished areas.

The Parish/Town Council or designated Neighbourhood Forum should however enlist hep from members of the local community, below is a list of stakeholder that should be sought to be involved:

  • Local Residents;
  • Local Buisnesses;
  • Community Organisations;
  • Elected Representatives;
  • Local Land Owners; and
  • Developers

Questions to think about

  • What are the key issues and aspirations of your local area?
  • Is a Neighbourhood Plan the right tool to address the aspirations and resolve the issues?
  • What resources are available to shape the future of your community?
  • How would you identify a neighbourhood area?

Potential Benefits

  • The community takes responsibility for deciding its future
  • The community gains a greater understanding of the issues it faces and the practicalities of addressing them.
  • Part of the Amber Valley Local Development Framework
  • Sense of community and create a sense of pride
  • Brings the community together to tackle local issues

Potential Disadvantages

  • You will have to tackle difficult issues
  • Very resource intensive, requires considerable commitment /volunteers time, energy and staying power.
  • Frustrating if not achieving ambitious expectations
  • Could be divisive not everyone will be happy with the outcomes.

Help Available

Planning Aid England has produced a suite of resources to assist those developing a Neighbourhood Plan. The resources provide practical tips and advice on various stages of the neighbourhood plan process from designating the neighbourhood area to submitting the plan for examination, and are designed for community groups to use.
To view this please click here.

Emerging Neighbourhood Plans


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has made funding available to provide support and grants to those who are developing a neighbourhood plan.

DCLG offer two different types of support to help you write your neighbourhood plan or prepare a neighbourhood development order:

  • Technical Support
  • Neighbourhood Planning Grant  

All groups writing a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order will be eligible to apply for up to £8,000 in grant. Groups facing more complex issues can apply for specific packages or technical support where needed, and may also be eligible for further £6,000 in grant.

For further details please visit the 'My Community' website by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Neighbourhood Area?

A Neighbourhood Area is the area in which the Neighbourhood Plan will relate to. To view further information on Neighbourhood Areas please click here.

What is a Neighbourhood Forum?

A Neighbourhood Forum is made up of at least 21 people who will lead and co-ordinate the plan-making process where there is no parish or town council in place. To view more information on Neighbourhood Forums please click here

What is a Neighbourhood Development Order?

A Neighbouhood Development Order allows communities to grant planning permission for development they want to see go ahead in a neighbourhood. For example, it enables them to allow certain developments, such as extensions to houses, to be built without the need to apply for planing application. To enable this to happen the proposal must:- - Have the agreement of more than 50% of the local people that vote through the referendum. - They should be in general conformity with national planning policies and strategy elements of the Local Plan.

What is a Community Right to Build?

The Community Right to Build allows communities to undertake small-scale, site specific, community-led developments. Community Right to Build gives communities the freedom to build new homes, shops, businesses or facilities where they want them, without going through the normal planning application process. To enable this to happen the proposal must:- - Have the agreement of more than 50% of the local people that vote through the referendum. - They should be in general conformity with national planning policies and strategy elements of the Local Plan.

Can we stop development?

No - a Neighbourhood Plan can guide development to be more appropriate to local context and help decide where it goes, but the government has made it clear that it is not a tool to be used to stop development.

What is the relationship between Neighbourhood Plans and the Core Strategy?

The Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the formal planning process. It must be in conformity with national planning policies and the strategic policies in the Amber Valley LDF Core Strategy.

What happens if the Core Strategy is not yet adopted?

The Government want local authorities to get plans in place without delay to reflect the development needs of their local area based on an up to date evidence base. Work can still begin on preparing a neighbourhood plan, however it needs to be remembered that the neighbourhood plan needs to be in conformity to the Core Strategy.

What is the time frame for developing a plan?

It is expected that the process will take approximately two years to complete.


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