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How to produce a neighbourhood plan

peak district landscape

The table below explains the stages that are required by legislation (shown with an asterisk *); the other stages are good practice.

We also strongly recommended that you look at these comprehensive step-by-step guides available online:

Please note, this information is for guidance only. It is important that you conform to the relevant Act and associated regulations.


Key stage Responsibility
 1

Establish a 'qualifying body' (a neighbourhood forum if there is no parish council) *

In non-parished areas, community group applies to planning authority.

 2

Establish a neighbourhood area *

Parish council or forum applies to planning authority

 3

Define the scope,  content and vision of the plan

Key stages 3–11 are the responsibility of the parish council or forum. The planning authority has a duty to give advice and assistance.

These stages are roughly consecutive but you should be involving people and building up evidence throughout the whole process.

 4

Produce a project plan

 5

Involve people – key local partners and community engagement

 6

Research and build up evidence. Understand the local plan

 7

Develop options for aims, policies, proposals or site allocations

 8

Prepare a draft neighbourhood plan

 9

Ensure that your plan meets the basic conditions *

 10

Undertake pre-submission consultation *

 11

Submit plan to planning authority *

 12

Check conformity *

Planning authority

 13

Publicise *

Planning authority

 14

Examination *

By independent examiner, planning authority to pay

 15

Referendum *

By district

 16

Bring plan into force (if more than 50% voting in referendum say 'yes') *

Planning authority

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