Guidance Print Neighbourhood Planning

A summary of the key stages in neighbourhood planning

Paragraph: 080 Reference ID: 41-080-20140306

Step 1: Designating neighbourhood area and if appropriate neighbourhood forum

  • Relevant body (parish / town council, prospective neighbourhood forum or community organisation) submits an application to the local planning authority (LPA) to designate a neighbourhood area
  • local planning authority publicises and consults on the area application for minimum 6 weeks
  • local planning authority designates a neighbourhood area
  • In an area without a town or parish council a prospective neighbourhood forum submits an application to be the designated neighbourhood forum for a neighbourhood area
  • local planning authority publicises and consults on the forum application for minimum 6 weeks
  • local planning authority takes decision on whether to designate the neighbourhood forum

Step 2: Preparing a draft neighbourhood plan or Order

Qualifying body develops proposals (advised or assisted by the local planning authority)

  • gather baseline information and evidence
  • engage and consult those living and working in the neighbourhood area and those with an interest in or affected by the proposals (e.g. service providers)
  • talk to land owners and the development industry
  • identify and assess options
  • determine whether European Directives might apply
  • start to prepare proposals documents e.g. basic conditions statement

Step 3: Pre-submission publicity & consultation

The qualifying body:

  • publicises the draft plan or Order and invites representations
  • consults the consultation bodies as appropriate
  • sends a copy of the draft plan or Order to the local planning authority
  • where European Obligations apply, complies with relevant publicity and consultation requirements
  • considers consultation responses and amends plan / Order if appropriate
  • prepares consultation statement  and other proposal documents

Step 4: Submission of a neighbourhood plan or Order proposal to the local planning authority

  • Qualifying body submits the plan or Order proposal to the local planning authority
  • Local planning authority checks that submitted proposal complies with all relevant legislation
  • If the local planning authority finds that the plan or order meets the legal requirements it:
    • publicises the proposal for minimum 6 weeks and invites representations
    • notifies consultation bodies referred to in the consultation statement
    • appoints an independent examiner (with the agreement of the qualifying body)

Step 5: Independent Examination

  • local planning authority sends plan / Order proposal and representation to the independent examiner
  • independent examiner undertakes examination
  • independent examiner issues a report to the local planning authority and qualifying body
  • local planning authority publishes report
  • local planning authority considers report and reaches own view (save in respect of community right to build orders where the report is binding)
  • local planning authority takes the decision on whether to send the plan / Order to referendum

Steps 6 and 7: Referendum and Making the neighbourhood plan or Order (bringing it into force)

  • relevant council publishes information statement
  • relevant council publishes notice of referendum/s
  • polling takes place (in a business area an additional referendum is held)
  • results declared
  • subject to results local planning authority considers plan / order in relation to EU obligations and Convention rights
  • If the plan / Order is compatible with EU obligations and does not breach Convention rights – local planning authority makes the plan or Order.

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