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What is neighbourhood planning?

What is neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning is a key part of the Government’s Localism agenda. It aims to give local communities greater power to shape development by taking a more active role in the development of planning policies at a local level. Within the East Riding, neighbourhood planning will be led by town and parish councils, with East Riding of Yorkshire Council providing technical assistance and making necessary decisions at key stages.

Neighbourhood planning can be used for a variety of purposes.  For example it can be used to:

  • identify where new homes, shops and industrial uses should be built,
  • have a say on what new buildings look like,
  • grant planning permission for new development that a community want.

Neighbourhood Development Plan

With a Neighbourhood Development Plan communities can create a vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in a neighbourhood. For example, where new homes should be built and what they should look like. Neighbourhood development plans can be general or more detailed, depending on what local people want.  They must be however, be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the council’s adopted Local Plan and should not be used to promote a lower level of development than is set out in the Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Development Order

With a Neighbourhood Development Order communities can grant planning permission for development they want to see go ahead in a neighbourhood. For example, allowing certain developments, such as extensions to houses, to be built without the need to apply for planning permission.

Community Right to Build Order

A Community Right to Build Order is a type of neighbourhood development order which gives community organisations the power to deliver development the local community want without the need to apply for planning permission. For example, communities may wish to build new affordable homes or new community amenities. Receipts from development stay within the community and are used for community benefit, for example to provide and maintain local facilities such as village halls.

Neighbourhood planning has been enabled though the Localism Act 2011. A Briefing Note provided to Town and Parish Councils on the planning implications is available to view below.

Briefing note for town and parish councils on neighbourhood development plans and orders (pdf 430kb opens in new window)

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How are neighbourhood development plans and orders prepared?

Neighbourhood development plans and orders are prepared through a formal process including public consultation and an assessment by an independent examiner.  They must also be agreed at a local referendum before they can be adopted.

Detailed arrangements for neighbourhood planning are set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations, in force from 6 April 2012. A Briefing Note provided to town and parish councils offering further guidance on the preparation of neighbourhood plans and orders (and how East Riding of Yorkshire Council can help) is available above.

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What progress has been made with neighbourhood plans?

The file below sets out the latest position with the progress on the various neighbourhood plans in the East Riding.

Neighbourhood plans - progress note (pdf 89kb opens in new window)

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What is a neighbourhood plan area application?

Designation of a neighbourhood area is the first stage in the preparation of a neighbourhood plan.  The relevant town or parish council looking to prepare a neighbourhood plan submits an application to East Riding of Yorkshire Council requesting their area be designated a neighbourhood area for the purposes of preparing a neighbourhood plan. This application is called an Area Application.

Only one neighbourhood plan can be adopted for each neighbourhood area although it is possible for more than one town or parish council to come together to form a single neighbourhood area. In most cases it is expected that a neighbourhood area will follow existing town or parish boundaries.

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Has the council received any area applications?

Yes. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has received area applications from the following town and parish councils:


Area applications include a map identifying the proposed neighbourhood area and information on why the area is considered appropriate for the purposes of preparing a neighbourhood plan. 

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Has the council designated any neighbourhood areas?

Yes. The council has approved all area applications listed above, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

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Will my area be covered by neighbourhood planning?

Neighbourhood planning is an optional tier of planning. Town and parish councils do not have to create a neighbourhood development plan or order. If a town or parish council chooses not to produce a neighbourhood development plan or order, planning applications submitted to East Riding of Yorkshire Council will still have to conform to the existing development plan.

You may wish to contact your town or parish council to find out if they are seeking to prepare a neighbourhood development plan or order.

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What is the difference between a neighbourhood plan and a parish plan?

Neighbourhood planning is not entirely new. Some communities are already involved in planning for their area through community led parish plans. Community led parish plans cover all things important to a community and are not directly linked to the planning system, neighbourhood plans relate to the use and development of land.

Community-led parish plans remain valid tools for parish councils to use and provide a more informal basis on which to undertake neighbourhood planning. East Riding has 171 parish councils of which over 50 have been involved in the community led parish planning process.

More information about community led parish planning can be found on our community led parish planning page.

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How does neighbourhood planning link with other planning policy?

Neighbourhood development plans are the first plans developed at a parish council level with legal force. They are formal statutory documents and are additional to, not a replacement for, the emerging East Riding Local Plan (formerly known as the LDF).

If a neighbourhood development plan is adopted after following the formal process set out above, it will be used by East Riding of Yorkshire Council to make decisions on planning applications.

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What funding is available to Town and Parish Council's for Neighbourhood Planning?

Town and parish councils lead and resource the preparation of a neighbourhood plan or order and the associated public consultation. External funding and support is available to do this, in addition to the support and advice offered by East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has committed to making £22.5 million between 2015 and 2018 to provide community groups with expert advice, grant funding and technical assistance for neighbourhood planning. The programme is being delivered by Locality, a national network of community-led organisations, on behalf of DCLG.

Town and parish councils demonstrating a need for grant support will be eligible to apply for up to £8,000. This money could cover developing a website, training sessions for members of the steering group, help with putting together a project plan, undertaking a household survey, help with developing the evidence base, engaging a planning expert and venue hire, publicity materials, printing and other costs associated with consultation. More complex neighbourhood plans and orders may be eligible for technical support in addition to the grant support.

The programme will commence in April 2015. Town and parish councils can complete an expression of interest form to establish what type of support they are eligible for. Further guidance and the expression of interest form are available to view here:

My Community website (external website)



Community Right to Build

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has established the community buildings project support grants scheme to help eligible community groups progress a community right to build order. The programme is being delivered by Locality, a national network of community-led organisations, on behalf of DCLG.

Town or parish councils can apply for revenue grants of between £5,000 and £40,000. Applicants must be able to provide a contribution of at least 10% of the estimated costs of developing the proposal.

The money could cover engaging an architect and/or other professionals such as surveyors to carry out works needed to produce detailed plans, legal, financial or other professional input to the project, technical studies and any costs associated with public engagement and consulting on the project.

Further information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply can be viewed here:

My Community website (external website)


Other Sources of funding

Awards for All provides small lottery grants of between £300 and £10,000. They fund a wide range of community projects and have previously provided funds for  town and parish councils in the East Riding.

Further information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply for this funding is available here:

Big Lottery Fund website (external website)

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Where can I find more information about neighbourhood planning?

You can contact your town or parish council to find out if they are considering producing a neighbourhood development plan or order.

The following links also provide useful sources of information:

Department for Communities and Local Government: Neighbourhood Planning (external website)

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (external website)

Planning Aid - briefing notes and guides (external website) 

Neighbourhood Planner - interactive map tool (external website)

Forum for Neighbourhood Planning - Planning Aid (external website)


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Where can I find more information about the Localism Act?

Neighbourhood planning has been enabled though the Localism Act 2011. A Briefing Note provided to town and parish councils on the planning implications of the Localism Act is available to view below.

Briefing note for town and parish council on the Localism Act 2011 (pdf 168kb opens in new window)

The following link is another useful source of information:

Department for Communities and Local Government: A plain English guide to the Localism Act 2011 (external website)

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