Neighbourhood Planning


Neighbourhood Planning

The purpose of this group is to provide a platform for discussion and support as Parish Councils within the South Downs National Park develop their Neighbourhood Plans.

It's important that members of this group focus their comments on the process and experience of setting up a Neighbourhood Plan and refrain from making references to individual planning applications, which should be directed to the relevant Local Planning Authority in the usual way.


Discussion contents reflect the views of individual participants only and the South Downs National Park Authority bear no responsibilty for the accuracy of participants' commments and will bear no legal liability. Please click here to read.

Location: Midhurst, West Sussex
Members: 38
Latest Activity: Jul 14, 2014

Neighbourhood Planning is a new feature of the town and country planning system.  It allows communities to have direct involvement in planning the future of the places where they live and work.

Communities will have an opportunity to look at the environmental, social and economic changes that may occur in their area and consider how development and land uses can be managed in a way that benefits local people.

A Neighbourhood Development Plan may be prepared by a parish council (in some non-parished areas by a neighbourhood forum) and contain one or more planning policies written specifically for their neighbourhood area. Many parishes in the National Park will have already undertaken topic specific surveys or produced plans such as Village Design Statements and Parish Plans that can be used to inform neighbourhood plans.

The new neighbourhood planning tools can set out what changes the community wish to see happen, what is of particular value or importance and should therefore be enhanced, and identify local needs and explore how these may be addressed.

Partnership working is an established principle of the South Downs National Park Authority. We will offer support and advice to communities that choose to do neighbourhood planning. It is hoped that the Forum will provide a chance for communities to share their perspectives and ideas of how neighbourhood planning can work in the context of a beautiful National Park.

Discussion Forum

What do you think of the new National Planning Policy Framework?

Started by Andrew Triggs Mar 28, 2012. 0 Replies

The final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published yesterday following weeks of speculation and some very intense campaigning.  Its policies came into immediate effect. …Continue

Barcombe & Easebourne events - what do you want to know?

Started by Andrew Triggs Mar 7, 2012. 0 Replies

We visited Barcombe Village Hall yesterday, which features a range of energy saving features and enjoys some stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.  Three presentations were given…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by Andrew Triggs on March 6, 2012 at 11:41

Yesterday the department of Communities and Local Government confirmed that 3 communities in the South Downs National Park will be receiving Front Runner funding - a grant scheme intended to help with neighbourhood planning.  Congratulations to Findon and Fernhurst Parish Councils and Petersfield Town Council - each will receive £20,000 that can be used to help plan the future shape of their areas.

The purpose of Front Runners is to allow communities to try out neighbourhood planning ahead of the commencement of new powers being provided through the Localism Act.

Comment by Andrew Triggs on March 19, 2012 at 14:03

A number of parishes which cross the National Park boundary have also been awarded funding for neighbourhood planning. Communities in these areas will be supported by the relevant district council in their role as the Local Planning Authority because the main centres of population are outside the National Park: Aldingbourne (Arun), Ferring (Arun), Kirdford (Chichester) and Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common(Mid Sussex). Congratulations to them all.

Comment by chris paterson on March 23, 2012 at 13:18

This new group seems like the ideal opportunity to ask for some help with an exercise I am about to embark upon. 

As Strategy Lead for Communities with the SDNPA I am interested to find out how people see Neighbourhood Plans linking with other forms of community led plans such parish plans, village design statements or local landscape character assessments.

So what do I want from you ?!

I would like to know how many of these different types of plans your community has already been involved in, what function they performed and perhaps most importantly what they managed to achieve in your community.

Is Neighbourhood Planning something you are considering, do you think that neighbourhood planning might benefit your community, how might you use existing community led plans to inform a neighbourhood plan if your thinking of doing one?

Do you, for example think that a parish plan is a thing of the past, or does it still have a role to play ?

To get you started I’ve listed the types of community led planning I’m aware of below - perhaps you know of others?


Market Town Health Checks

Parish Plans

Village Design Statements

Town Design Statements

Local Landscape Character Assessments

Wildlife Habitat Mapping

Local Biodiversity Action Plans


So its over to you, thanks very much for any help you can give me, I would be very interested to hear your opinions

Comment by Steve Lincoln on May 8, 2012 at 15:59


I want to comment particularly on your question about whether a parish plan is a thing of the past, or still has a role to play?

My role at Winchester City Council includes support to communities undertaking a community-led plan and, far from being a thing of the past, it is clear that interest is growing.  The Localism Bill and the advent of neighbourhood plans has prompted lots of parishes in our district to consider how they could have greater influence over their future.  While this has initially focussed on the potential for a neighbourhood plan, many have realised that the issues they need to address require a parish plan instead.  And with the Council now more aware than ever of the need to support community-led activity there is a real feeling of momentum for parish plans here.

It would be interesting to hear whether the same is being experienced in other districts across the Park area .....

Comment by chris paterson on May 23, 2012 at 10:42


thanks for your comments, i also think the the recent localism bill and the advent of neighbourhood planning has raised peoples awareness of community led planning and what can be achieved by producing a plan. I have still to hear back from colleagues in other districts whether interest in parish planning has increased or not, but i know from recent meetings i've attended that some parishes are keen to start a Parish Plan.

Personally i feel parish plans have a lot to offer, they can cover a far wider range of topics and they are a very useful way for a parish to focus their efforts and prioritise what they want to achieve. There are many examples of parish plans across the National Park that have had huge success in achieving community aspirations and i would like to hear from parish plan groups out there about more of these so we can promote the potential that a parish plan has...........

Comment by Andrew Triggs on April 19, 2013 at 16:26

Thanks to everyone that has recently attended one of our neighbourhood planning workshops.


Presentations attached from 4 February and 15 April.





skills presentation 040213.pdf

Upper Eden NDP 040213.pdf

sorting the issues 150413.pdf

St J Exeter & Thame NDP 150413.pdf

effective engagement 150413.pdf

Comment by Andrew Triggs on May 23, 2013 at 17:14

3 neighbourhood plans nationally have now been to referendum and received support within the community. More neighbourhood plans have been submitted to the Local Planning Authority for final consultation - Much Wenlock to Shropshire and Lynton & Lynmouth to Exmoor National Park National Park Authority.

The first approved neighbourhood plan to include site allocations was for Thame, a market town in South Oxfordshire. Turnout on voting day was 39.8%.

The latest edition of "Planning" magazine features 5 steps to get public backing behind a neighbourhood plan:-

1.  Make sure a neighbourhood plan is right for your area.  Neighbourhood plans are about shaping development you want to see take place in your area. But it cannot be done overnight - if design is the principal issue you may wish to focus on a Village Design Statement.

2. Proper consultation is vital - see Chris Paterson's presentation above on effective engagement for some top tips.

3. Ask for help from professionals - you may require advice on how to run a community engagement event or assistance in writing robust planning policies. Encourage people in the community to commit their skills and talent.

4. Keep it simple - the approved plans are clearly written, easy to navigate and understand and focussed in their content.  What are the priorities for your community?

5. Involve the whole community - the plan should represent the interests of the whole of the community. How can you get people on board who wouldn't normally get involved in planning issues?


Comment by Andrew Triggs on June 19, 2013 at 14:45
Comment by Andrew Triggs on September 20, 2013 at 13:11

For everyone working on neighbourhood plans, the Department for Communities and Local Government produce regular updates on the neighbourhood planning programme in England (Notes on neighbourhood planning). These can be found by visiting the DCLG website.

I have also attached the series to date for easy reference:

DCLG Notes On Neighbourhood Planning 1.pdf

DCLG Notes On Neighbourhood Planning 2.pdf


Comment by Andrew Triggs on October 3, 2013 at 9:45

Please find attached the presentations from this week's neighbourhood planning workshop.  Thanks to everyone who came along and for the useful discussion.

Planning in a sensitive environment.pdf

DCLG The What & The How.pdf

DCLG Some Golden Rules.pdf

Design for neighbourhood planning.pdf


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