Neighbourhood planning

Step 1: Getting Started

The first thing to do is find out if neighbourhood planning is already happening in your area. To see if there's already a local neighbourhood plan group that you could join, check your local authority's website (under neighbourhood planning) or click on the map.

In areas with a parish or town council, they have to lead on the neighbourhood plan, so why not get in touch to find out how you can get involved. You can find information about your local council via their website. You can get involved by joining a steering group or through their community engagement programme.

If there's nothing in your area, we can help you get started.

In areas without a parish or town council (ie: most urban areas), you have to set up a neighbourhood forum, which is a group specially set up to create a neighbourhood plan. Neighbourhood forums need to have at least 21 members. To get one started talk to your neighbours, local businesses and community groups and get them on board.

There are some great leaflet and poster templates to help you get people engaged. Make your own posterLeaflet

Once you've set up your neighbourhood forum, you have to apply to the local authority to designate it, which means officially recognise it.

Before you decide to go ahead, some things to bear in mind:

What it can do

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what a neighbourhood plan is and what it can achieve to be sure it's the right thing for your area.

Time commitment

The average length of time to produce a neighbourhood plan is 18-24 months, and it is mostly done by volunteers in your community, though there is funding to pay for expert help where needed.

The complexity of the process

A neighbourhood plan is a legal document and requires detailed research and evidence to create.

Everyone's invited

Producing a neighbourhood plan is a community-wide affair. It's a great opportunity to talk to everyone from children to elders across the area.

Step 2

Getting Going