Neighbourhood Planning

Introduced through the Localism Act in 2011, Neighbourhood Planning offers communities the opportunity to take a proactive role in shaping the future of the areas in which they live and work and in supporting new development proposals.

It gives people greater involvement and ownership of the plans and policies that affect their area. Policies which form adopted Neighbourhood Plans are used when considering planning applications in the area.

Neighbourhood Plans can influence the type, design, location and mix of new development but must be in line with national planning policy and in general conformity with the adopted Development Plan (the South Holland Local Plan 2006). A Neighbourhood Plan may not propose less development than that proposed within local authority planning policies.

A list of our current Neighbourhood Plans can be found on the link below:

Current Neighbourhood Plans

How are Neighbourhood Plans prepared?

Neighbourhood Plans are prepared through a formal process before they can be adopted by the Council. This includes designating the 'neighbourhood area' that will be covered by the plan, public consultation and an assessment by an independent examiner. Use of the plan must also be agreed at a local referendum before it can be adopted.

Who can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan?

There are two types of 'qualifying body' that can initiate and prepare a Neighbourhood Plan:

  • Parish and town councils: In areas where a parish or town council exists, these are the only bodies that can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. The parish or town council should work with other members of the community who are interested in, or affected by, the neighbourhood planning proposals to allow them to play an active role in its preparation.

  • Neighbourhood forums: Where a parish or town council does not exist, community members can come together to create a neighbourhood forum. Only one neighbourhood forum is allowed to exist at any given time for each neighbourhood to be covered by a Neighbourhood Plan. A neighbourhood forum must have at least 21 individuals who either: live in the area; work there; and/or are elected members for a local authority that includes all or part of the neighbourhood area.

What area does a Neighbourhood Plan cover?

Given that South Holland is a largely parished area, the qualifying body would normally be the relevant parish council. A Neighbourhood Plan would usually cover a whole parish (following existing parish boundaries), which would be the 'neighbourhood area', but it could cover a smaller area if justified. Neighbourhood areas can also cover more than one parish area, if this is justified and there is agreement between all the parishes involved.

Parish councils intending to produce a Neighbourhood Plan are required by Regulation 5 of The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 to apply to the local planning authority (i.e. South Holland District Council) to have their areas designated.

Submitting a Neighbourhood Plan Area application
What is a Neighbourhood Plan Area application?

Designation of a Neighbourhood Plan Area is the first stage in the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. The applicant - most likely a parish council - should submit an application to South Holland District Council to designate the area that they wish to plan for. An application form can be downloaded by clicking the following link:

Icon for pdf Neighbourhood Area Designation Form [86.48KB]

Only one Neighbourhood Plan can be adopted for each neighbourhood area although it is possible for more than one parish council to come together to form a single neighbourhood area.

How to submit an area application

Applications to designate a neighbourhood area should be sent to:


Planning Policy

South Holland District Council

Priory Road



PE11 2XE

Once received, we will publicise the application on our website (and other localised publicity) and there will be a 6 week consultation period for any comments to be made. Any comments received during this time will be considered as part of the formal designation process.

Community Right to Build Order

The Localism Act also introduced Community Right to Build Orders. These are a form of Neighbourhood Development Order and are, in essence, planning permissions granted by the community in order to deliver a small-scale community project on a specific site or sites in a neighbourhood area. These can include:

  • Community facilities (such as community centres and libraries)
  • Shops
  • Businesses
  • Play grounds
  • Housing (including affordable housing)
Help and Guidance

We are legally required to provide advice and assistance to those producing a Neighbourhood Plan or Order within our district.

Below are a set of guidance notes that have been produced by the Council to help you in the Neighbourhood Planning process.

Icon for pdf How to make a Neighbourhood Plan [81.18KB]

Icon for pdf Getting Started [172.65KB]

Icon for pdf Developing your Vision [83.25KB]

Icon for pdf Developing your Neighbourhood Plan [90.24KB]

Icon for pdf Independent Examination [75.79KB]

Icon for pdf Referendum [100.24KB]

Icon for pdf Adoption [49.95KB]

Icon for pdf Strategic Environmental Assessment [98.57KB]

Icon for pdf Glossary [107.8KB]


The cost of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan will depend on the size, scope and complexity of the Plan being prepared. The qualifying body will be responsible for all costs associated with the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan or Order and the associated public consultation. However, such bodies are eligible to apply for funding from Central Government. Applications for grants can be made through the My Community Website

As the local planning authority, we will fund and organise the independent examination and the referendum.

Useful links

National Planning Practice on Neighbourhood Planning

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended)

Contact details

To enquire about starting a neighbourhood plan, you can contact us by:

Email -

Or by writing to -

Planning Policy

South Holland District Council

Priory Road



PE11 2XE