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 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. These policies will be 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. For example incorporating their proposals for the neighbourhood into:

A community must apply to the Council to be designated as a neighbourhood forum, and a neighbourhood area needs to be agreed. Once that is done they can begin preparing any of the following:

  • a neighbourhood plan
  • Neighbourhood Development Order
  • Community Right to Build Order

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. This 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, as set out in the Harrow Local Plan. This includes 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

For information about planning policy matters and advice on the Harrow self-build register.

Address: Harrow Council
Planning policy
PO Box 1358

Telephone: 020 8736 6082