Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning areas

Community groups must apply to us to designate an area for their neighbourhood plan. We will consult on the proposals for a minimum of 6 weeks.

We will consider:

  • whether the area is coherent, consistent and appropriate in planning terms
  • natural or man-made features such as rivers, roads or railway lines
  • catchment areas for current and planned infrastructure and services, such as schools
  • development proposals and sites allocated for development
  • environmental status of land in the area
  • comments received from consultation

We will agree the proposed neighbourhood plan area unless there are valid planning reasons.

If we consider an area is not appropriate we will issue a refusal notice explaining why, and designate a revised plan area to include some or all of the originally proposed area.


The neighbourhood area should be agreed first, and then the community group formally established so that it is representative of the neighbourhood area.

The two 6-week consultation periods for the neighbourhood area and the community group can take place at the same time. There is a risk, however, that if the neighbourhood area is changed then the group's application may need to change and be subject to a new 6-week consultation.