Woking Borough Council

Neighbourhood Planning

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

The Localism Act 2011 introduced 'Neighbourhood Planning', giving communities the right to shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.

The Borough of Woking has several adopted neighbourhood plans (see the 'Development Plan for Woking' tab on this website, and further information below). There are also several plans currently being prepared (see below).

Neighbourhood planning can, for example, facilitate communities to:

  • choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built

  • have their say on what those new buildings should look like

  • grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.

These Plans or Orders can then become part of the Council's local development plan for the Borough, which means that the policies and proposals within them will be used in the determination of planning applications, including appeals. It should be stressed that the policies produced cannot block development that is part of the local development plan, but they can shape and influence where development will go and what it will look like.

There are three types of neighbourhood planning tools that communities may wish to use:

  1. Neighbourhood Plan - can establish a vision for a neighbourhood area, and set planning policies and make proposals for land use within that area. An adopted neighbourhood plan would sit alongside the Borough's adopted Development Plan Documents, such as Woking Core Strategy, and help decide the outcome of planning applications.
  2. Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) - this allows communities to grant up-front planning permission for certain types of development that the community wants.
  3. Community Right to Build Order - a type of NDO that grants planning permission for the local community to build small-scale housing developments, community facilities or shops.
Neighbourhood planning is a democratic process led either by a parish or town council, or a neighbourhood forum in non-parished areas. The Council can provide some guidance and technical assistance, including:
  • Advice on process and procedure;
  • Sharing available evidence base;
  • Providing guidance on external sources of information;
  • Commenting on draft documents;
  • Providing advice on conformity of a draft plan with the strategic policies of the Development Plan for the area;
  • Providing links with key stakeholders;
  • Organising and paying for the Examination of a neighbourhood plan;
  • Organising and paying for the referendum of a neighbourhood plan;
  • The Council also has a duty to determine neighbourhood areas and forum designation applications.
The National Planning Practice Guidance goes into greater detail on neighbourhood planning, which is available here. For further information on the process of neighbourhood planning, including a summary of the key stages of the process, please see the useful links at the bottom of this page.

Adopted Neighbourhood Plans

The Council has made the following neighbourhood plans part of the Development Plan for Woking:

  • Hook Heath Neighbourhood Plan (2015). Further details about the Forum, Neighbourhood Area, and preparation of the plan are available here.
  • Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan (2017). Further details about the Forum, Neighbourhood Area, and preparation of the plan are available here.
  • West Byfleet Neighbourhood Plan (2017). Further details about the Forum, Neighbourhood Area, and preparation of the plan are available here.

Neighbourhood Plans in Progress

The following communities are preparing, or plan to prepare, neighbourhood plans - click on the name to access further details about each Neighbourhood Area, Forum and other documentation.

National Planning Practice Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning: http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/neighbourhood-planning/

Information on Neighbourhood Planning - resources, step-by-step guides and more: http://mycommunity.org.uk/take-action/neighbourhood-planning/

Neighbourhood Planning Roadmap - all you need to know about the neighbourhood planning journey: http://mycommunity.org.uk/resources/neighbourhood-plan-roadmap-guide/

Information on funding and technical support to create a neighbourhood plan: http://mycommunity.org.uk/funding-options/neighbourhood-planning/

Overview of Localism Act 2011: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/localism-act-2011-overview

Planning Advisory Service Neighbourhood Planning FAQs: http://www.pas.gov.uk/web/pas-test-site/45-neighbourhood-planning-faqs

Information about Neighbourhood Planning funding: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/briefing-room/news-releases/2013/may/launch-of-new-neighbourhood-planning-fund

'My Community Rights' Neighbourhood Planning information: http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/neighbourhood-planning/

'My Community Rights' information on Neighbourhood Planning Policy writing: http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/blog/guide-writing-planning-policies-neighbourhood-plans-released/#sthash%2E8GexIPk6%2Edpuf

Prince's Foundation: http://www.princes-foundation.org/what-we-do/projects/engage/clg-planning-scheme/supporting-communities-and-neighbourhoods-planning

Town and Country Planning Association guidance: http://www.tcpa.org.uk/data/files/your_place_your_plan.pdf