Neighbourhood planning gives communities the power to develop a vision of their neighbourhood. It enables them to contribute to the development and growth of their area.
Neighbourhood planning provides powerful tools for local people, so they get the right types of development for their community. It also ensures that the desire of the neighbourhood is aligned with the overall needs and priorities of the wider local area.
Find out more about the neighbourhood planning system, including key stages and what to consider at GOV UK.
Preparing a neighbourhood plan
There are three types of neighbourhood plan
- Neighbourhood Development Plan – this sets out a shared vision and general planning policies for the future development and use of land in a local area
- Neighbourhood Development Order – this allows communities to grant planning permission for certain types of development that they want in their local area
- Community Right to Build Order – this allows communities to grant planning permission to build small-scale housing developments, community facilities or shops that are recognised as providing positive benefits by the community
Neighbourhood plans and development orders can be prepared by parish/town councils and neighbourhood forums for their local area.
To make sure these plans are truly led by the community, local people vote to approve them in a referendum. If successful, they will form part of the South Gloucestershire Development Plan.
Communities are not required to prepare a neighbourhood plan. They are however seen as a good option for communities as they show willingness to get involved positively in managing and influencing growth of an area.
Neighbourhood plans are treated with the same importance in considering planning applications as any other adopted plan, once they form part of the South Gloucestershire Development Plan.
A neighbourhood plan should be prepared by town and parish councils or by local community groups, not the council.
The formal process for preparing a neighbourhood plan is set in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations below
Advice and support from the council
Our statement of community involvement sets out how we help communities prepare a neighbourhood plan.
A neighbourhood planning protocol sets out our commitment to providing advice and support. This includes
- a process note which sets out the stages of the process and consultation timescales
- advice and assistance (includes meetings, methods of engaging and consulting with communities and consultation statements)
- where resources allow, we offer wider proactive awareness raising of neighbourhood planning across South Gloucestershire including training for town and parish councils and communities in unparished areas
- an example service level agreement that can be used between the community preparing the plan and the council
- an example neighbourhoood plan steering group terms of reference
External advice and support
Our website includes information on community profiles, flooding, archaeological data, listed buildings and conservation sites. You can also check Historic Environment Records on the Historic England website.
The links below cover a range of support and resources that we recommend exploring in considering whether a neighbourhood plan is right for your community.
- Communities and Local Government Neighbourhood Planning
- Notes on Neighbourhood Planning
- Royal Town Planning Institute
- Planning Aid England
- Eden Project
- My Community Rights
- Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Plans
- Neighbourhood Planning Road Map Guide
- Forum for Neighbourhood Planning
- Planning Advisory Service
- Avon Local Councils Association
Communities may also wish to engage through the Joint Spatial Plan and the new South Gloucestershire Local Plan, which is being prepared by the council and will help guide development in the district until 2036.
Current neighbourhood plans
In accordance with The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended), the following communities have submitted an application to designate a Neighbourhood Area under Article 5 of the Regulations.
Thornbury Neighbourhood Plan
In accordance with the 2016 amendment, the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary did not require consultation, as it was consistent with the parish boundary. The area was therefore formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 6 March 2017.
Pucklechurch Neighbourhood Plan
In accordance with the 2016 amendment, the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary did not require consultation, as it was consistent with the parish boundary. The area was therefore formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 27 January 2017.
Charfield Neighbourhood Plan Area
In accordance with Regulation 6 the consultation on the proposed Neighbourhood Area was from 9 December 2015 to 13 January 2016 (5 weeks).
The decision to approve the designation was made at the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee on 27 January 2016 and in accordance with Regulation 8, we have published a Neighbourhood Planning Decision Notice.
Further information is available on the Charfield Neighbourhood Plan website.
Oldbury on Severn Neighbourhood Plan
In accordance with the 2016 amendment, the proposed Neighbourhood Area boundary did not require consultation, as it was consistent with the parish boundary. The area was therefore formally designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 27 October 2016.
The South Gloucestershire Council Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Oldbury on Severn (September 2017) report is available within the Evidence base for our Local Plan, see under ‘Flood Risk’.