Planning process and how to apply

The Localism Act 2011 has introduced new powers for communities to have a bigger say in what local planning policies operate in their area.  The Government intends that communities can choose where new homes, shops and offices should be built, have a say on what those new buildings should look like and grant planning permission for the new buildings communities want to see go ahead.

Neighbourhood planning gives communities power to develop a shared vision for, and deliver new sustainable development in their area. They are aimed to help not hinder development.

There are three neighbourhood planning tools available:

  • Neighbourhood Development Plans.
  • Neighbourhood Development Orders.
  • Community Right to Build Orders.

Communities can choose to use any or all of the above tools but as they will all have a statutory status, formal processes must be followed.

Neighbourhood Planning Stages

  • Process instigated by the community and advice sought from LCC.
  • Apply for approval of Neighbourhood Area.
  • Apply for approval of Neighbourhood Forum.
  • Plan prepared by the community with support and advice from LCC.
  • Formal community engagement for minimum 6 weeks.
  • Final version of the Plan submitted to LCC for legal compliance checking and further consultation.
  • LCC submit the Plan for independent examination.
  • Referendum.
  • Adoption of Neighbourhood Plan.

Please read the Neighbourhood Planning guidance notes for further information.

How to apply

To apply for Neighbourhood Forum designation and Neighbourhood Area designation please download the forms below, and complete and return to the City Council by post or email.

Before applying we encourage you to get in touch to discuss your plans and timetable. Please email