A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is about the use and development of land and may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. It may deal with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issues.
A Neighbourhood Plan will be part of the statutory development plan for the area , if successful at referendum. This statutory status gives Neighbourhood Plans far more weight than some other local documents, such as Parish Plans, Community Plans and Village Design Statements.
A robust programme of community engagement helps make sure that a Neighbourhood Plan is based on proper understanding of the local area and the needs, aspirations and views of local people.
Once a Neighbourhood Plan has been completed it will have to be submitted to the local authority and then be subjected to an independent examination. The final stage is a public referendum where it is necessary to gain a 50% 'yes' vote to bring it into action.