Neighbourhood planning

Introduction to neighbourhood planning

Through the 2011 Localism Act, the government has given local communities more power to influence the future of the places they live, by introducing four neighbourhood planning tools.

Neighbourhood plans

A neighbourhood plan outlines a vision for a specified area and can set planning policies for the use and development of land. It could cover where new homes, offices or shops could go and identify green spaces to be protected. Neighbourhood plans should be focused on local issues and on guiding development proposals, rather than stopping them. Once adopted, a neighbourhood plan becomes part of the statutory development plan for the specified area and will be used in making decisions on planning applications.

Neighbourhood development orders

Neighbourhood development orders can grant planning permission for specific developments, within specific areas, such as the conversion of the first floor of retail units into flats within town centres.

Community right to build orders

Community right to build orders allow communities to identify land for specific small-scale developments, such as new homes or community facilities, and permits development that complies with the order to be built without requiring the benefit of planning permission.

Community right to bid orders

Community right to bid orders allow local communities to nominate specific land or buildings, which provide community wellbeing or social interests, as ‘an asset of community value’. If this asset is then proposed to be sold on the open market, a moratorium of sale may be invoked, providing local communities 6 months to raise finances, develop a business and make a bid to buy the asset on the open market.

When these tools are made and who can make them

All of these neighbourhood planning tools can be made at any time. A town or parish council can make these neighbourhood planning tools.