What is a neighbourhood plan? - Neighbourhood plan

Under the terms of the Localism Act, communities can now choose to produce a neighbourhood plan, which will contain policies to help shape and deliver new development in their areas. Because this document will become a statutory (legal) document they have to produce it in a certain way.

The Government has set out regulations (external link) on how this would be done.

Neighbourhood plans can set out a vision for an area and should contain planning policies for the use and development of land. A neighbourhood plan should be developed to help guide development, rather than to prevent it. Policies should cover local issues rather than strategic issues. For example, a plan could cover where new homes, shops or offices should go and what green spaces should be protected.

Plans should be developed in partnership with the relevant parish council, local residents, local businesses, local community groups, the District Council, and statutory consultees. They will need to be produced in conformity with Bassetlaw District Council’s Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). If a neighbourhood plan is adopted by the District Council it will become a statutory document that will be used when determining planning applications.

Neighbourhood planning cannot be used to block the building of the homes and businesses considered to be necessary to meet the District’s current and future needs. It can, however, influence the type, design, location and mix of new development.

Neighbourhood planning can involve any of the following:

  • Neighbourhood Development Plan (Neighbourhood Plan) - establishes the vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in your neighbourhood.
  • Neighbourhood Development Order – allows the community to grant planning permission for types of new developments you want to see go ahead.
  • Community Right to Build Order – is a type of Neighbourhood Development Order which gives communities the power to develop, for instance, small-scale housing and other facilities that you want without the need to apply for planning permission.

All of these documents will be subject to an independent examination and a local referendum before they can be adopted.

Who can lead on neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning is led by the local community. Both neighbourhood development plans and neighbourhood development orders can only be prepared by parish or town council in parished areas. In areas where there is no parish or town council, a neighbourhood forum can lead on coordinating neighbourhood planning activity for your area. This could be an existing community organisation or a new group but it will need to meet certain criteria. The neighbourhood forum and area boundary will need to be approved by the Council.

A community right to build order can be prepared by certain community organisations and not just parish or town councils or neighbourhood forums.

Who will pay for the plan?

Funding is available from central government to help support local communities producing neighbourhood plans, in the form of grant funding and technical support. 

What help is available?

The District Council has a duty to support communities to engage in neighbourhood planning, and tailors this to meet the specific needs of each community. Further information is available by contacting the Neighbourhood Planning Team

In addition to advice from the Council, the following organisations may be able to offer assistance:




Last Updated on Thursday, June 13, 2024