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Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood planning gives communities the opportunity to play a stronger role in planning for the neighbourhood where they live and work.

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

A Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area have been designated for the area of Thorpe. For more information please see the Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan page.

The Localism Act 2011 allows local communities to have a greater say in the future of their neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood planning can be prepared by two types of body either town and parish councils or 'neighbourhood forums'. 'Neighbourhood forums' are designated community groups that can prepare neighbourhood planning in areas like Runnymede without town or parish councils.

There are three types of neighbourhood planning tools your community may choose to use:

  • Neighbourhood Plan - establishes planning policies for the development and use of land in the defined neighbourhood area.
  • Neighbourhood Development Order - allows the grant of planning permission for certain types of development that the community wants.
  • Community Right to Build Order - allows community organisations to bring forward smaller-scale development on a specific site, without the need for planning permission.

Step by step bullet point guide to Neighbourhood Planning

  • Designate the Neighbourhood Forum - In non-parished areas, such as Runnymede, a neighbourhood forum will need to be established. A forum requires a written constitution and should be formed from at least 21 people made up of those who live, work or have a business in the area. An application for designation needs to be made to Runnymede Borough Council.
  • Designate the Neighbourhood Area - The neighbourhood forum will then need to decide on an area for plans or orders to cover. Once the lead body and neighbourhood area are decided, an application for designation needs to be made to Runnymede Borough Council.
  • Prepare the Neighbourhood Plan or Order - Ideas will need to be collected, evidence gathered and any proposals drawn up. All appropriate stakeholders will need to be consulted on the neighbourhood plan or order and any adjustments to the proposals in response to consultation feedback will need to be made.
  • Independent Check - The neighbourhood plan or order will be checked by an independent examiner to make sure it is legally compliant and meets the basic conditions set out in Planning Policy Guidance.
  • Community Referendum - The neighbourhood plan or order will need to be put to a community referendum organised by Runnymede Borough Council. The referendum must be won by a simply majority of those who voted.
  • Legal Force - If the neighbourhood plan or order passes referendum then Runnymede Borough Council must formally adopt it as part of the statutory Local Development Plan for the Borough of Runnymede.

Help and support

More information on neighbourhood planning can be found by following the links below. The Government has introduced a new programme for neighbourhood planning support from 2015-2018. The programme offers all groups grants of up to £8,000 per neighbourhood area with those facing more technical or complex issues a further grant of up to £6,000. Further details can be found on My Community website at My Community Neighbourhood Planning Funding.

If you are interested in neighbourhood planning and require further information or assistance please contact the Policy and Strategy team by email or by phone on 01932 425278.

Other advice and guidance

Locality Neighbourhood Planning

My Community Neighbourhood Planning

My Community Road Map

Planning Practice Guidance Neighbourhood Planning

RTPI Neighbourhood Planning

A to Z of services

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