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Community Right to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan or Order

What is it?

The Community Right to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan enables the community to set out a vision and objectives for a neighbourhood area, together with locally specific policies that will be used in the determination of planning applications.

A Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) is a way of ensuring locally agreed development takes place in a neighbourhood or on a specific site without the need for a separate planning application.  A NDO may be prepared as part of a Neighbourhood Plan or as a completely separate initiative. This Right puts planning processes in the hands of the community but there is an important constraint.  Proposals must comply with European planning directives and the national planning policy framework, and be in general conformity with the strategic direction of the Local Development Plan prepared by the local authority.   

Who can exercise the Right?

Community Right to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan or a NDO must be exercised by a ‘relevant body’. There are two types of relevant body under the Localism Act:

Parish and town councils: In areas where a parish or town council exists, these are the only bodies that can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood forums: Where a parish or town council does not exist, community members can create a neighbourhood forum. The requirements are set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations. Only one neighbourhood forum is allowed to exist for each neighbourhood to be covered by a Neighbourhood Plan. RCCE can help you to create a neighbourhood forum.


How is the Right exercised?

The 'relevant body' makes an application to the local authority for a neighbourhood area to be designated.  The requirements of the application are set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations .  The detailed steps in the process of creating a Neighbourhood Development Plan are explained in the RCCE Neighbourhood Planning Guide

Further information about Neighbourhood Planning is available from HM Government and from Locality 

Is funding available?

For each Neighbourhood Plan local authorities will receive £5,000 once a neighbourhood area has been designated, and a further £25,000 on successful completion of the neighbourhood planning independent examination.

Neighbourhood Plan groups can also submit applications for support and grants. They will be able to bid for up to £9,000 each (or up to £15,000 plus technical support for groups with complex issues) to contribute to the costs of preparing their neighbourhood plan. Full details are on the My Community website.


What to include in a Community Led Plan

A Neighbourhood Development Plan is a Community Led Plan in which all the community engagement will relate to land use and development issues.   A Parish Plan or Design Statement process may explore land use issues and highlight an appetite for community control over development proposals.  This may result in the creation of a full Neighbourhood Development Plan or a NDO on a specific site.

For example:
The Parish Plan or Design Statement highlights the need for improvement (or complete rebuild) of the village hall and the support for a development of houses, including a high proportion of affordable housing, to finance the proposals. NOTE: If small scale this would be a Community Right to Build Order rather than NDO.

To find out how RCCE can assist with your Neighbourhood Plan or NDO contact Sarah Sapsford