Community planning: Neighbourhood planning UK
Localism Act
Plans and Policy

Resources on this site

Selection of detailed guidance on the website which may be useful at specific stages of the neighbourhood planning process. Samples to get you started - by no means a definitive list.

Getting started - awareness
raising and neighbourhood organisation

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A Neighbourhood Plan can be initiated by a Parish or Town Council, or by a Neighbourhood Forum, which may be created for the purpose or be an adaptation of an existing community organization.

This ‘qualifying body’ then submits an application to the local planning authority to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for a specified ‘designated area’.

Two scenarios provide an overview of the overall process that might then be followed:

scenarioCommunity-led plan
A nine step process with a proven track record

scenario Local Plan Production
Designed to put communities in the driving seat of local planning

Three methods that may be useful for getting the neighbourhood planning process underway:

Method Community planning forum
A simple format for securing information, generating ideas and creating interaction between interest groups.

Method Door knocking
A good way for consultants and landowners to get started

Method User Group
Forming the right group (or groups) for developing the neighbourhood plan

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Creating your
planning process

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The Neighbourhood Planning Regulations make it clear that a Neighbourhood Plan has to fully engage all stakeholders at each stage in the process. This has to be demonstrated in a detailed ‘consultation statement’. So you need a strategic approach to community consultation and engagement.

Method Process planning session
Getting key stakeholders to agree an effective community engagement strategy

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Community needs
and aspirations
- visioning

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As a potential statutory plan, your neighbourhood plan will be reviewed by a professionally qualified Independent Assessor who will examine the evidence which backs up your proposals. This means that a systematic assessment of needs and aspirations will be required which will be embodied in your vision for the future.

Method Community Profiling
A family of methods which actively involve the community in building up a picture of its nature, needs and resources.

Method Street stall
Engaging people where they are.

Method Reconnaissance trip
Inspection of the neighbourhood by mixed teams of local people and technical experts.

Method Ideas competition
Stimulating creative thinking

Method The Internet
The new frontier of emerging methods of engagement

Method Study tour
Visit inspiring places elsewhere and meet people who made it happen.

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the Plan

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There will inevitably be conflicting needs and demands. The essence of good planning is striking a balance which all stakeholders can live with. This means establishing priorities both between various proposals and between proposals over time i.e. phasing. Effective consultation is vital at this time to secure maximum ‘buy-in’. One or more ‘community planning events’ will be very productive.

Method Community planning event
Events to produce plans of action at which all those affected work creatively together.

Method Planning Day
A good way for getting key parties to work together to devise and explore options for a site or neighbourhood

Method Planning Weekend
A highly effective 3-4 day process for complex projects.

Method Planning for Real
Uses simple models as a focus for people to put forward and prioritise their ideas for their neighbourhood

Method Prioritising
Deciding collectively what needs to be done when.

Method Choice catalogues
Making design choices

Method Draft plan consultation
Giving people the chance to amend plans before they are finalised.

Method Participatory editing
Involving people in the details.

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A Neighbourhood Plan will need to include an Implementation plan to show how the proposals
will be funded and delivered.

Method Feasibility Fund
Securing funding for feasibility work.

Method Development Trust
A mechanism for communities to undertake development projects themselves.

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and review

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It is good practice to monitor progress in implementing the Plan and to review the Plan periodically to ensure it remains relevant.

Method Review Session
Monitoring progress and maintaining momentum.

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This page partly funded by the Department for Communities and
Local Government, 2011.


Nick Wates Associates

Last updated on:12 January 2012