What is strategic planning

2. Neighbourhood planning

The local parish or town council will lead on neighbourhood planning in their areas. Where one does not exist then a community group known as a neighbourhood forum needs to be established to lead.

The Local Planning Authority is involved and will make decisions at key stages of the process, such as approving the neighbourhood area within which the Neighbourhood Development Plan will have effect. It will also organise the independent examination of the plan and the community referendum that is held at the end of the process.

The referendum is an important part of the process allowing those that live in the neighbourhood area to decide whether or not the Neighbourhood Development Plan comes into effect or not. This is direct democracy and outlines the importance of working with the wider community and securing their support at an early stage in the process.


The process

  1. District council consults on the designation of Neighbourhood Areas
  2. The town or parish council consults on the pre-submission stage of their own neighbourhood plan
  3. District council holds a public consultation on the plan, and the responses are sent to an independent examiner
  4. If the plan passes independent examination, the local community votes on whether it supports the plan
  5. If the plan is supported, it will be used to inform planning decisions in that neighbourhood


Our role

In the first instance you should always approach your Local Planning Authority for their help and guidance on how to go about neighbourhood planning because the county council has no statutory responsibilities in respect of the preparation and approval of Neighbourhood Plans. However, we are happy to offer our support throughout the planning process and welcome any queries or concerns.

In Buckinghamshire the four district councils are the Local Planning Authorities. However, the county council is the statutory authority for a range of services including minerals and waste, highways, education, archaeology and social care and is also a significant landowner.
The council is keen to ensure that we do not overlook the aspirations of our communities; as such we will always welcome invitations from Neighbourhood Planning Groups that would like us to be involved in their plan.

Please find a memorandum of understanding as a download below, which highlights what communities can expect from the county council, how to contact us, and to ensure that our resources are used efficiently as the number of neighbourhood areas across the county continues to grow. Additionally, please find comments from some technical service teams within the council around their Neighbourhood Plan requirements.



For more information on Neighbourhood Planning.

Strategic Planning mailbox
Email: strat_planning@buckscc.gov.uk



Buckinghamshire County Council Neighbourhood Planning Memorandum of Understanding
Neighbourhood Planning Protocol
BBOWT Community and Parish Guide to Biodiversity
Aylesbury Vale District Council Neighbourhood Planning
Wycombe District Council Neighbourhood Planning
Chiltern Neighbourhood Planning
South Bucks Neighbourhood Planning

Print entire guide

Last updated: 3 January 2020

Was this page helpful?

Very poor
Neither good nor poor
Very good