Community groups and neighbourhood planning
The Localism Act 2011 allows communities to have a say in how their local area is developed through setting up neighbourhood forums and preparing neighbourhood plans and neighbourhood development orders.
A neighbourhood forum is a community group that is legally designated to develop and submit neighbourhood planning in local authority areas without parishes like ours. A neighbourhood forum:
- promotes social, economic and environmental wellbeing in the area
- is open to people who live or work in the area, or are elected to represent the area
Prospective neighbourhood forums have to apply to the Council to be designated.
A neighbourhood area is the geographical area that a neighbourhood plan or a neighbourhood development order covers.
A neighbourhood area:
- must be designated by the Council
- can’t overlap with another neighbourhood area
- can only have one neighbourhood plan
Prospective neighbourhood forums have to apply to the Council to designate a neighbourhood area.
Applications to become a neighbourhood area and neighbourhood forums can be made separately or together.
A neighbourhood plan is drawn up by a neighbourhood forum and needs to align with the Council’s core strategy and the London Plan.
- should encourage positive planning to benefit the local community
- can’t be used to prevent development or introduce controls to existing planning law and regulations
Neighbourhood plans go through a consultation, examination and referendum process. They’re approved if they receive more than 50 per cent of referendum votes.
Neighbourhood development order
A neighbourhood development order sets out development plans in a neighbourhood area that don’t need planning application.
Neighbourhood development orders go through a consultation, examination and referendum before they’re approved.