Parish Councils urged to update their Neighbourhood Plan


Parish Councils urged to update their Neighbourhood Plan

What is the purpose of a Neighbourhood Plan

A neighbourhood plan is a document created by local councils to set the vision for the future including where new houses, shops and businesses should go in the area. It also provides a guide as to what new buildings should look like to be in keeping with the character of the local area. The plan may even designate new open spaces that should not be built within.

It is vital that councils keep this document up-to-date; reviewing and refreshing it every five years.

Councils who created or last updated their Neighbourhood Plan in 2018/2019 should now be reviewing it. Councils without a Neighbourhood Plan are urged to create one for their local community.

The benefits of an up-to-date Neighbourhood Plan

Having an up-to-date plan has many benefits including:

  • Having the ability to influence planning decisions and new building design, or alterations to existing buildings. Some elements within a parish may have changed since the Neighbourhood Plan was first created and this could be considered through a review.
  • Keeping the Neighbourhood Plan relevant and in use by a Local Planning Authority. When a new Development Plan Document (Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan) is adopted, the most recently adopted document will take precedence in the event of conflict.
  • Ability to build and develop community cohesion through joint aspirations, consultations and a referendum (if required).
  • It can continue to protect or propose the creation of new open spaces and other aspects which the community value.
  • It can secure revenue from proposed new developments, with the local community retaining more of the money collected from development to spend on local projects.


Parish Councils urged to update their Neighbourhood Plan

How ET Planning can support you with your Neighbourhood Plan

ET Planning is an independent Town Planning Consultancy which offers a personalised and bespoke service, tailored to your needs; helping to guide you through the complex planning system and providing support to create, develop and review Neighbourhood Plans.

ET Planning are able to guide Parish Councils through the full process of preparing or reviewing a Neighbourhood Plan and can facilitate the completion of technical work on their behalf.

What does the bespoke support from ET Planning look like?

In supporting Parish Councils to create, develop or review their Neighbourhood Plans, ET Planning can provide:

  • Support to determine and set the vision, aims and objectives of the plan
  • Advice on evidence base documents and commissioning other specialist consultants which may be required such as landscape appraisals, heritage reports or highways
  • Help and advice on strategies for engagement and consultation with the local community including result analysis and attending events
  • Advice on reviewing and updating existing policies
  • Writing new policies
  • Preparing and reviewing submission documents including Basic Conditions Statements and Consultation Statements
  • Guidance on site selection and arranging meetings with developers and landowners
  • Project management to help stay on track of key milestones and stages

Getting the right support

If you are a Parish Council and are considering creating or reviewing your Neighbourhood Plan, ET Planning are able to assist, whether in an urban or rural location, or both.

We have offices across Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Exeter, Surrey and Shropshire and our friendly and approachable team include fully qualified chartered planners with a combined professional experience of over 75 years; many of which have previously worked for both Local Planning Authorities and Private Consultancies.

If you are interested in discussing the next steps and the potential of your Neighbourhood Plan, please contact us to book in a free 15-minute consultation.

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