Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning was introduced as a new power to communities by the Localism Act 2011. Local planning authorities have a legal duty to support the development of neighbourhood plans and orders.

A neighbourhood plan can establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, including:

  • where new homes and offices should be built
  • what they should look like
  • what new community facilities are needed and where.

Successful neighbourhood plans will form part of the development plan used by East Hampshire District Council in determining planning applications.

There are two types of neighbourhood planning:

  • neighbourhood plans
  • neighbourhood development orders

Is neighbourhood planning right for my community?

Neighbourhood planning is designed to be a positive process, aimed at planning for new development to meet local needs. It cannot be used to stop development in an area, but it can help to shape and guide where development is located.

Potential benefits:

  • allow communities to take responsibility for deciding the future of their area
  • gain an understanding of local issues and how to address them
  • opportunity to bring a community together.

Potential disadvantages:

  • difficult issues will need to be dealt with
  • will require extensive resources and commitment, lengthy process
  • unlikely that everyone in the community will be happy with the outcome.

Neighbourhood plans

A neighbourhood plan will form part of the district's statutory development plan which will be used in the determination of planning applications.

Neighbourhood plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies within the adopted local plan. This includes up to date housing targets.

Neighbourhood development orders

These can grant planning permission for certain types of development without the need to submit a planning application to the council.

Examples could include:

  • minor residential development such as extensions or windows
  • town centre development such as changes of use or signage
  • minor development in an industrial estate.

What else can you do?

There are many other ways in which local communities can be involved in planning for the future of their area, for example through the preparation of town and parish plans, or town and village design statements.

The difference between neighbourhood planning and community planning is that neighbourhood planning focuses only on planning issues, whereas documents such as parish plans can cover much wider issues like education and anti-social behaviour.