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How to make a Neighbourhood Plan

There are a number of stages involved in putting together a neighbourhood plan. 

Stage 1 – Getting Established

Neighbourhood Plans are often prepared by Parish or Town Councils. In places like Fareham, where there are none, a Neighbourhood Forum can be set up to produce the plan.  Any prospective Neighbourhood Forum needs to:

If you think there are groups that are under-represented, such as young people, you should make efforts to continually grow your membership to rectify this. 

You will need to define what area your Neighbourhood Plan will cover. This is known as the Neighbourhood Area. If there is more than one prospective Neighbourhood Forum looking at the same area or areas that overlap then negotiations would need to take place between the groups. 

A Neighbourhood Forum also needs to have a written constitution. This needs to:

Preparing a written constitution should not be seen as a tick box exercise but as a way to guide decision making within your Forum.

Neighbourhood Forum and Area designation

Once the Forum has 21 members and a written constitution it can apply to the Council to be recognised as the Neighbourhood Forum to have its proposed Neighbourhood Area designated. 

The Council will ask local residents for their comments for at least six weeks on the proposals before making a decision.

Stage 2 – Preparing the Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan is a planning document and needs to focus on

Neighbourhood Plans cannot deal with any non-planning matters such as Traffic management or street cleaning.

Content of the Neighbourhood Plan

A plan can be detailed, or simply set general principles to guide new development. A typical plan might include the following sections:

You will need to gather a lot of information and evidence to support your plan. Engagement and consultation with people living and working in the area as well as with service providers will need to take place as you develop your options.

Stage 3 – Implementing the Plan

The proposed plan has to be submitted to the Council who will check that the proper procedures have been followed. After a period of publicity the Council will arrange for an independent examination and organise a public referendum. 

If it passes these two stages then the Neighbourhood Plan will be used to assess planning applications that are submitted within the Neighbourhood Area.  

How much will it cost to produce a Neighbourhood Plan?

There are various estimates of how much it would cost the neighbourhood forum to produce the plan ranging from £17,000 up to £80,000 depending on the size and complexity of the plan.

Funding Options for Neighbourhood planning

Grants and support are available to help with neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood Planning grants are available for up to £9,000

Typical costs that the grant could be spent on include:-

Guidance on applying for a grant can be found on the My Community Locality website. External Hyperlink  

Find out more

If you have any questions about Neighbourhood Planning please contact our Planning Strategy and Regeneration Team on 01329 824409 or email


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