The Process

The development of a Neighbourhood Plan as policy is a long process from inception to adoption. The process can be broken into 6 stages:

Stage 1: Defining the neighbourhood
Local people will decide how they want to work together. Considering and determining who leads, what’s the boundary, etc.

Stage 2: Preparing the plan
A Neighbourhood Plan must be in conformity with existing planning policy, other than that local people decide what they want!

Stage 3: Independent check
Once a neighbourhood plan has been prepared, an independent examiner will check that it meets the right basic standards. If the plan doesn’t meet the right standards, the examiner will recommend changes. The planning authority will then need to consider the examiner’s views and decide whether to make those changes.

Stage 4: Community referendum
The local council will organise a referendum on any plan that meets the basic standards. If more than 50 per cent of people voting in the referendum support the plan, then the local planning authority must bring it into force.

Stage 5: Legal Force
Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries real legal weight. All decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood!

Stage 6: Implementation

Download the Roadmap Guide to Neighbourhood Planning – with worksheets & map (PDF, 1.31 MB)