Neighbourhood planning advice and guidance

Neighbourhood planning summary

Preparing neighbourhood development plans or neighbourhood development orders involves several stages and requires commitment, time and financial resources. Certain basic conditions must be met before they can proceed to a referendum which allows the plan or order to come into force. A summary of key requirements is listed below:

  • neighbourhood development plans or orders must have regard to national planning policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State
  • they must be in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan; that is, the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan
  • they must not breach European obligations; for example, Habitats Regulations
  • they must contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
  • they must plan positively to support the local planning authority's strategic vision for the area. Neighbourhood development plans or orders:
    • can be used to influence the type, design, location and mix of new development
    • cannot be used by communities to block the building of new homes and businesses
  • neighbourhood development orders must have special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting, and preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area
  • neighbourhood development plans and orders are subject to an examination by an independent examiner to ensure conformity with the above basic conditions
  • to bring a plan or order into force in an area they must be supported by more than half of voters in a local referendum
  • once a neighbourhood development plan or order has successfully passed the referendum they can be adopted ('made') by Telford & Wrekin Council as part of the development plan for the area.

National policy

Visit GOV.UK website to view the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which was published on 27 March 2012 and updated on 24 July 2018 and 19 February 2019. It sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

The government’s planning practice guidance has a Visit the GOV.UK website to view the section on neighbourhood planning including details of the key stages involved and considerations required. 

Visit the GOV.UK website to view bulletins on neighbourhood planning.

Advice and guidance

View information about how to contact your local parish or town Council if you are looking to develop a neighbourhood development plan or order for your area. They are responsible for taking the lead in preparing neighbourhood plans and orders. 

Telford & Wrekin Council has a duty to provide support and assistance to parish and town councils that are preparing neighbourhood development plans or orders. The Council must also take decisions at key stages in the neighbourhood planning process within certain time limits. For further information please contact the Strategic Planning Team.

Locality, the national membership network supporting local community organisation, has a website which provides advice and guidance on neighbourhood planning. They can advise on grant funding and technical support opportunities for eligible communities working on neighbourhood plans or orders. Visit neighbourhood planning website for advice and guidance.

Visit the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) website which provides help, advice, support and training to local government officers and councillors on a range of planning topics including neighbourhood planning. 

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) offers planning advice and support to communities through its Planning Aid England service. Visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website for more information about the Planning Aid England service.

Last updated: 06/05/2022 11:40

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