Paul Weston - Community Consultant

Neighbourhood Planning

About Neighbourhood Planning


New planning powers are in place to give communities the ability to shape the character of their neighbourhood.

‘Neighbourhood Planning’ is giving communities a real voice in deciding the look and feel of development in their area.

Local people are now able to have their say on local planning matters such as the location of new homes, the design of buildings and the facilities and green spaces that should be protected.

The new powers also give local people the power to decide the types of development that can be granted automatic permission, through a Neighbourhood Development Order.


advice &


until March 2012

I am a qualified planner and community consultant based in the South West.

I have already worked with a number of neighbourhood planning groups.

I can help if your group wants to make the most of the new neighbourhood planning opportunities.

If you want advice or need some help get in touch for a free, no obligation, initial discussion

01392 468758

It’s official, Neighbourhood Plans, prepared by communities themselves, are now legally recognised planning policy documents, which relate to the use of land or to spatial matters (i.e. aspects related to how a place works) in a parish or neighbourhood.

Once adopted, the Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the district council’s local development framework and will be used in the consideration of planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

The power to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan has been given to parish & town councils or, in their absence, a properly constituted Neighbourhood Forum.


For a Parish or Town Council the time for neighbourhood planning is probably right if:  

  • there is general agreement with the strategic content of the Local Plan

  • there are, or will be, development pressures on the neighbourhood in the foreseeable future

  • there is an identifiable need for housing, new businesses or community and/or social facilities

  • the local community has accepted the need for development and wishes to shape it


The process of preparing a neighbourhood plan is sequential. For a diagram and short version of the process follow the link below:



NP Process

If you're new to neighbourhood planning I can offer:  

  • NP Introduction – What’s it all about? - a talk

  • NP Consideration - What’s involved? - a presentation

  • NP Diagnostic - Is it for us? - a workshop

  • NP Preparation – How do we get started? - a seminar




If you've begun the journey I can provide expert advice and support with all aspects of neighbourhood planning such as: community consultation, research, evidence-gathering, visioning, action planning, sustainability appraisal, impact analysis, policy writing and much more - via a bespoke consultancy

for more detail

& to discuss your


The right to prepare a neighbourhood plan is just one of several new ‘rights’ that have been conferred on local communities and individuals courtesy of the Localism Act 2011.

The others:

Community Right to Build - gives communities the power to build new shops, housing or community facilities without going through the normal planning process.

Community Right to Bid - gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy and run valued local amenities if they come onto the open market.

Community Right to Challenge - gives local groups the opportunity to express their interest in taking over a local service where they think they can do it differently and better.


For more information, advice and possible access to grant support, use this link to visit the following website:



'My Community Rights' Locality%20NP%20Guide

Click here to find out more about my consultancy offer:

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