Neighbourhood planning

About Neighbourhood Plans

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a right for local communities (usually a Parish or Town Council) to draw up a type of community led plan called a Neighbourhood Plan. Adopted Neighbourhood plans must be used when determining planning applications in the area. The following Plans have been adopted:

Broad steps to producing a Neighbourhood Plan include:

  • Application by a qualifying body to the Local Authority to designate a neighbourhood area.

Qualifying body:

  • Building of the evidence base
  • Community engagement
  • Writing the plan
  • Pre submission consultation - report and any modifications
  • Submitting the plan to the Local Authority 

Local authority:

  • Publication and consultation of the plan
  • Appoint Independent Examiner to examine the plan, supporting documents and consultation responses and make modifications if required
  • Referendum - It is necessary to gain a more than 50% ‘yes’ vote in a public referendum to bring these plans and orders into force.

Once a Neighbourhood Plan is made (i.e. brought into legal force by the local authority), it will be
used to determine planning applications and guide planning decisions in the neighbourhood area.

Updated September 2023

Rural Community Council of Essex

Address: Threshelfords Business Park
Inworth Road

Telephone: 01376 574330