Neighbourhood planning - more information

Drawing up a neighbourhood plan

There are a number of stages in drawing up a neighbourhood plan:

  • deciding the neighbourhood area
  • putting together a neighbourhood forum (you don't need to do this if there's a parish council for the area)
  • drafting and consulting on a neighbourhood plan
  • an expert examination
  • a referendum

All these stages are important and should include public consultation. There are rules about all these stages and Brighton & Hove City Council has a responsibility to support neighbourhood groups in the form of advice and to officially designate neighbourhood areas and forums. The council also has responsibility for organising and paying for some parts of the process, such as the independent examination and the referendum.

What goes in a neighbourhood plan?

The main function of a neighbourhood plan is to guide the decisions of the council when they are considering planning applications in the neighbourhood area. It should therefore contain clear policies in relation to development and land use which require the submission of a planning application.  It cannot seek to control national permitted development rights or conflict with strategic planning policies.  The contents of a neighbourhood plan is about how the local community wants to see the area develop not about service delivery (eg it is not about opening times of community facilities, refuse clearance, public transport etc).  A neighbourhood plan can cover a lot of topics or just one - it depends what's important for the local community and what resources it has to draw up the plan. It can contain policies that relate to the location of businesses and homes, the use of buildings and open space or the physical appearance of the area, for example.

A neighbourhood plan can't by itself make things happen - developers may decide not to build in the area, and it can't force other council departments (like Highways or Parks) to make improvements. However, drawing up a neighbourhood plan can help to show the clear intentions of the local community and help influence organisations and local decision-makers.

It is important to understand the area’s profile (normally based upon census information highlighting local variations to the rest of the city and/or region).  It is also important to also review relevant background evidence.

The following links provide information to help you understand the process and to get start:

Other Requirements

When preparing a neighbourhood plan there are a number of other documents and assessments that need to be produced and submitted alongside the plan.  These are indicated below :

Guidance on other websites: