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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

What is neighbourhood planning?

sign posting to villages, towns and cities.

Guide the future of your community

Neighbourhood planning represents a pivotal shift in how communities can influence the development and growth of their local areas. Introduced by the Localism Act in 2011, this initiative allows local residents to have a direct say in the future development of their neighbourhoods, from new homes and offices to services, facilities, and infrastructure. This grassroots planning process embodies the principle of giving power back to the people, enabling them to create a shared vision that truly reflects their needs and aspirations.

At the heart of neighbourhood planning is the ability to develop a neighbourhood plan. This is a formal document that outlines the community's vision for its future and sets planning policies to guide development. The process of creating a neighbourhood plan is detailed and requires community engagement, evidence gathering, and consultations. It culminates in a referendum, where the local community votes on whether the proposed plan should come into effect. Once adopted, the neighbourhood plan becomes part of the statutory development plan for the area, meaning that decisions on planning applications must take it into account neighbourhood plan policies.

Benefits of neighbourhood planning

The benefits of engaging in neighbourhood planning are multifaceted. Firstly, it empowers communities to protect and enhance their local environment and heritage. It allows for the identification of important green spaces, the preservation of the area's character, and the management of development in a way that respects local needs and values. Neighbourhood plans can also allocate land for new development and outline proposals for new infrastructure, such as transport connections and community facilities, ensuring that growth is sustainable and benefits the community.

Undertaking a neighbourhood plan

Producing a neighbourhood plan is a significant undertaking, involving a range of activities from drafting the plan to consulting with the community and seeking professional advice. The process encourages communities to come together, bringing a diverse range of voices into the planning conversation. It requires a commitment to collaboration, with local councils providing support and guidance throughout the process. Funding and technical support are available to help communities navigate the complexities of planning law and ensure their plan meets the necessary legal and procedural requirements.

Neighbourhood planning is not without its challenges. It demands time, resources, and a willingness to engage in detailed local issues. However, the potential rewards are considerable. By taking control of their local development, communities can ensure that growth and change happen in ways that enhance their area, reflecting the unique character and needs of their neighbourhood.

Powerful tool to shape the future of your community

In conclusion, neighbourhood planning offers a powerful tool for communities to shape their future, providing a structured process through which they can articulate and realise their vision for local development. It stands as a testament to the value of localism and community engagement in the planning system, offering a pathway towards more sustainable, inclusive, and community-focused development.


Interested in producing a neighbourhood plan?

DAC Planning provides specialist support in neighbourhood planning.

For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team: / 01206 259281

This information is for general informative purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, DAC Planning accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from its use.

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