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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning is a process introduced by Central Government to give local communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. 

It is a process that is led by the community rather than the Council. Its aim must be to improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area.

In undertaking neighbourhood planning, local communities can choose to:

  • set planning policies through a neighbourhood plan that is used in determining planning applications.
  • grant planning permission through Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders for specific development which complies with the order.

Neighbourhood planning is not a legal requirement but a right which communities in England can choose to use.

There are potentially other means of achieving the outcomes a community wants to see, such as incorporating their proposals for the neighbourhood into the Local Plan, or through other planning mechanisms such as Local Development Orders and supplementary planning documents or through pre-application consultation on development proposals.

Before a community can embark upon preparing a neighbourhood plan or Neighbourhood Development Order/Community Right to Build Order, they must apply to the Council to be designated as a neighbourhood forum and a neighbourhood area needs to be agreed.

There are legal requirements for designating a neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood area and the process is subject to consultation.

Neighbourhood Development Plan

A Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out the policies against which planning applications are assessed.

Neighbourhood Development Plans will become part of the local development plan for the area, which means that the policies and proposals contained within them will be used in the determination of planning applications, including appeals.

Any neighbourhood development plan must support the strategic development needs set out in the Harrow Local Plan, including policies for housing and economic development.

It cannot be used to block development that is already part of the Local Plan. Neighbourhood Plans however can influence where development will go and what it will look like.

Planning policy

Advice on planning policy matters relating to the West London SFRA

Address: Civic Centre
4th Floor
Station Road
Harrow
HA1 2XY

Telephone: 020 8736 6082