Neighbourhood Plan

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan is:

  • A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area that are used to decide whether to approve planning applications
  • Written and approved by the local community rather than the Local Planning Authority
  • A means to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place

The Localism Act (2011) gave powers to local communities and parish and town councils to produce Neighbourhood Plans and the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations (2012) set out the stages of producing a Neighbourhood Plan. Following submissions by the Chichester City Council, the Chichester District Council exercised its delegated authority in October 2019 to approve the designation of the City’s neighbourhood area details of which are available here.

What is the relationship between the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan?

The Neighbourhood Plan, when brought into force, becomes part of the statutory development (local) plan for the area it covers. Then by law all planning applications in the area must be determined in accordance with the policies in the Plan, except where material considerations indicate otherwise. This means the Neighbourhood Plan has the same importance as the Local Plan.

What is the process for developing the neighbourhood plan?

The Chichester District Council has produced guidance documents to support Neighbourhood Planning groups and a guide to progressing a Neighbourhood Plan through its various stages and how the District Council can aid the delivery of each stage to producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Parish Council has to engage with the public to see what development the people want. The Parish gathers evidence to show that the policies developed from people’s suggestions are needed or justified, can be delivered and would not have a significant detrimental impact on the environment. After more consultation, an Independent Examiner must approve the Plan and then a referendum is held where if 50% of the votes are in favour then the Plan is adopted.

Keeping up-to-date

See the official Launch of the Neighbourhood Plan, and current status here.


Information sourced from:–2