The Localism Act introduced a new right for a parish council (or neighbourhood forum) to produce a formal plan for the area setting out policies against which local planning applications can be judged. These can cover:
• planning objectives for the neighbourhood;
• the broad planning context (e.g. transport connections), local facilities, services;
• key neighbourhood projects and infrastructure priorities;
• development management policies on housing, economic development, environment;
• site-specific policies on housing, economic development and environmental issues;
• changes in the coverage of some planning designations.
(Source: Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in Planning Prospectus – Appendix 2)

Neighbourhood Planning initiatives will be additional to, and not a replacement for, the existing planning system in England and must therefore be in general conformity with national and district planning policy.

The plan will be independently assessed and will have to be approved by referendum.

Not all communities will need or want to undertake a Neighbourhood Plan. There are other tools which communities can use to meet their needs which may be more appropriate.

We can support you with deciding how to proceed and also with involving your community in your plans. Contact us for more information:

Hertfordshire County Council have a web page which is a resource for Hertfordshire communities wishing to get involved in neighbourhood planning.  Hertfordshire’s ten district councils and HCC have prepared it including contact details via links to the district councils and HCC click here to go to HCC web site.

The Government has announced a support programme for communities doing neighbourhood planning. Click here for more information.

Here’s the latest on Neighbourhood Planning:


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