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Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act 2011 introduced new ways for communities in England to shape the development of their local areas, if they want to.

Neighbourhood development plans
Neighbourhood development plans are a way for local people to set the policies for development and use of land in their own local neighbourhoods. Where a plan is made, it forms part of the local development plan that is the basis for deciding applications for planning permission.
Neighbourhood development orders
Neighbourhood development orders are a way for local people to grant planning permission for new buildings without the need for planning applications.
Community right to build orders
Community right to build orders are a type of neighbourhood development order. They are a way for community organisations to bring forward small-scale developments. They cannot be used for authorising some types of development, including projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment.


There are special rules and procedures for preparing plans and orders.

  • Neighbourhood development plans and neighbourhood development orders are prepared by parish or town councils. In areas where there is no parish or town council, local people can form neighbourhood forums and prepare the plans or orders themselves.
  • Locals wanting to propose a community right to build order must first form a community organisation.

Neighbourhood forums and community organisations must comply with special rules about things like their membership, how they operate and their aims. They must be set up in order to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of local residents.

Plans and orders are examined to check they are in line with wider planning policies and legislation. They can then be voted on by local people at a local referendum.

Support for locals wanting to propose plans and orders

The government's My Community website offers advice and technical and financial support for locals wanting to propose plans and orders. Visit the site to find out how to apply for a grant.


Localism Act 2011, Schedules 9 to 11

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