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Things you need to know

As Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP) become planning policy, and Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDO) and Community Right to Build Orders (CRtBO) are planning permissions, there are a legal procedures which must be followed when you produce them.

Project lead

Parish and town councils as existing authorities can produce them. In other areas a registered neighbourhood forum or community organisation can undertake them.

We will need from you:

  • written constitution
  • proof you have at least 21 members for NDPs, or 10 if it is CRtBO, who are representative of the community - people who live or work in your area, and an elected member of the county or district council
  • evidence you are set up to promote or improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area

Neighbourhood area designation

Decide on the area relevant for your project. We’ll be able to tell you if it has already been designated for NDP or NDO. If it hasn’t you can ask us.

We will need from you:

  • an ordnance survey map with the neighbourhood area boundary marked
  • a statement setting out why you think this area is appropriate
  • a statement that your organisation is a relevant body

Designation will also set the minimum area in which people will be eligible to vote at the referendum on your project.

Things to consider

The foundations of a good project are:

  • proportionate evidence and effective community engagement from the earliest stages
  • information on the use and development of land, and local social, economic and environmental conditions past, present future
  • engagement with the community, local partners and statutory organisations at the beginning, mid-stage and on the plan’ completion

We will provide advice and assistance to you.

As you develop your NDP or NDO you must take into account Basic Conditions and undertake all the necessary processes.

Basic conditions

  • having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State 
  • having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses - this applies only to Orders
  • having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area - this applies only to Orders 
  • contributes to the achievement of sustainable development
  • is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area) 
  • it does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with, EU obligations 
  • prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan) 

We can advise on how these relate to your project.

In addition to establishing you are a relevant body and designating the neighbourhood area you will need to undertake statutory consultation on your draft plan (Regulation 14).

Once you have finalised the project and checked it is legally compliant, submit it to us with:

  • ordnance survey map identifying the neighbourhood area
  • consultation Statement
  • statement on how it fulfils the Basic Conditions
  • any other supporting documents you feel are important evidence such as: sustainability appraisal, habitat regulations, or housing needs assessment