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The Neighbourhood Plan 'League Table'

My last blog post, 1,000th Neighbourhood Plan marks continued growth of neighbourhood planning, illustrates the growth of Neighbourhood Plans over recent years.

Exploring the data further, this blog post breaks down the total number of approved plans by Local Planning Authority area. Presenting the data in this way highlights the marked differences in the take up of neighbourhood planning in different areas.

About the data

The table (below) has been populated using data from my Planfinder app, and is based on the same dataset used in my 1,000th Neighbourhood Plan... blog post. The data includes plans which successfully passed referendum before the end of February 2020, therefore any plans which passed referendum over the past couple of weeks are not included - although you can find details of these on the Planfinder app.

The sum total of the number of approved plans shown in the table exceeds 1,000, as a small number of plans cross local planning authority boundaries and are therefore counted twice in the table.

The data shown is based on my own research and monitoring. Whilst I have taken best efforts to ensure the data is accurate, it is possible that errors exist. If you spot an error, please let me know -

Table of approved Neighbourhood Plans by Local Planning Authority area

The table sets out the number of Neighbourhood Plans which have successfully passed referendum by Local Planning Authority area, as at end of February 2020.

Search the table by typing your query in the search box and/or click the table headings to sort the data.

Local Planning Authority County 'Made' Plans
Adur District CouncilWest Sussex0
Allerdale Borough CouncilCumbria1
Amber Valley Borough CouncilDerbyshire5
Arun District CouncilWest Sussex23
Ashfield District CouncilNottinghamshire2
Ashford Borough CouncilKent3
Aylesbury Vale District CouncilBuckinghamshire21
Babergh District CouncilSuffolk5
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough CouncilSouth Yorkshire2
Barrow Borough CouncilCumbria0
Basildon Borough CouncilEssex0
Basingstoke and Deane CouncilHampshire10
Bassetlaw District CouncilNottinghamshire15
Bath and North East Somerset CouncilSomerset9
Bedford Borough CouncilBedfordshire2
Birmingham City CouncilWest Midlands1
Blaby District CouncilLeicestershire1
Blackburn with Darwen Borough CouncilLancashire0
Blackpool CouncilLancashire0
Bolsover District CouncilDerbyshire0
Bolton Borough CouncilGreater Manchester0
Boston Borough CouncilLincolnshire0
Bournemouth. Christchurch & Poole CouncilDorset3
Bracknell Forest Borough CouncilBerkshire1
Bradford Metropolitan District CouncilWest Yorkshire1
Braintree District CouncilEssex3
Breckland District CouncilNorfolk6
Brentwood Borough CouncilEssex0
Brighton & Hove City CouncilEast Sussex0
Bristol City CouncilBristol3
Broadland District CouncilNorfolk14
Bromsgrove District CouncilWorcestershire2
Broxbourne Borough CouncilHertfordshire0
Broxtowe Borough CouncilNottinghamshire1
Burnley Borough CouncilLancashire0
Bury Borough CouncilGreater Manchester0
Calderdale Borough CouncilWest Yorkshire0
Cambridge City CouncilCambridgeshire0
Cannock Chase District CouncilStaffordshire1
Canterbury City CouncilKent0
Carlisle City CouncilCumbria1
Castle Point District CouncilEssex0
Central Bedfordshire CouncilBedfordshire8
Charnwood Borough CouncilLeicestershire5
Chelmsford City CouncilEssex0
Cheltenham Borough CouncilGloucestershire0
Cherwell District CouncilOxfordshire4
Cheshire East CouncilCheshire27
Cheshire West & Chester CouncilCheshire21
Chesterfield Borough CouncilDerbyshire0
Chichester District CouncilWest Sussex15
Chiltern District CouncilBuckinghamshire2
Chorley Borough CouncilLancashire0
City of London CorporationGreater London0
Colchester Borough CouncilEssex5
Copeland Borough CouncilCumbria0
Corby Borough CouncilNorthamptonshire0
Cornwall CouncilCornwall38
Cotswold District CouncilGloucestershire3
Council of the Isles of ScillyIsles of Scilly0
Coventry City CouncilWest Midlands1
Craven District CouncilNorth Yorkshire1
Crawley Borough CouncilWest Sussex0
Dacorum Borough CouncilHertfordshire1
Darlington Borough CouncilCounty Durham1
Dartford Borough CouncilKent0
Daventry District CouncilNorthamptonshire15
Derby City CouncilDerbyshire0
Derbyshire Dales CouncilDerbyshire4
Doncaster Metropolitan Borough CouncilSouth Yorkshire5
Dorset CouncilDorset21
Dover District CouncilKent1
Dudley Borough CouncilWest Midlands0
Durham County CouncilCounty Durham4
East Cambridgeshire District CouncilCambridgeshire2
East Devon District CouncilDevon17
East Hampshire District CouncilHampshire7
East Hertfordshire District CouncilHertfordshire6
East Lindsey District CouncilLincolnshire2
East Northamptonshire CouncilNorthamptonshire10
East Riding of Yorkshire CouncilEast Riding of Yorkshire2
East Staffordshire Borough CouncilStaffordshire15
East Suffolk CouncilSuffolk9
Eastbourne Borough CouncilEast Sussex0
Eastleigh Borough CouncilHampshire0
Eden District CouncilCumbria4
Elmbridge Borough CouncilSurrey0
Epping Forest District CouncilEssex1
Epsom & Ewell Borough CouncilSurrey0
Erewash Borough CouncilDerbyshire0
Exeter City CouncilDevon1
Fareham Borough CouncilHampshire1
Fenland District CouncilCambridgeshire2
Folkestone & Hythe District CouncilKent1
Forest of Dean District CouncilGloucestershire5
Fylde Borough CouncilLancashire2
Gateshead Borough CouncilTyne & Wear0
Gedling District CouncilNottinghamshire4
Gloucester City CouncilGloucestershire0
Gosport Borough CouncilHampshire0
Gravesham Borough CouncilKent0
Great Yarmouth Borough CouncilNorfolk0
Guildford Borough CouncilSurrey4
Halton Borough CouncilCheshire0
Hambleton District CouncilNorth Yorkshire0
Harborough District CouncilLeicestershire22
Harlow District CouncilEssex0
Harrogate District CouncilNorth Yorkshire1
Hart District CouncilHampshire7
Hartlepool Borough CouncilCounty Durham1
Hastings Borough CouncilEast Sussex0
Havant Borough CouncilHampshire0
Herefordshire CouncilHerefordshire71
Hertsmere Borough CouncilHertfordshire0
High Peak District CouncilDerbyshire1
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough CouncilLeicestershire2
Horsham District CouncilWest Sussex9
Hull City CouncilEast Riding of Yorkshire0
Huntingdonshire District CouncilCambridgeshire4
Hyndburn Borough CouncilLancashire0
Ipswich Borough CouncilSuffolk0
Isle of Wight CouncilIsle of Wight5
Kettering Borough CouncilNorthamptonshire1
King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough CouncilNorfolk6
Kirklees Borough CouncilWest Yorkshire0
Knowlsey Borough CouncilMerseyside0
Lancaster City CouncilLancashire1
Leeds City CouncilWest Yorkshire17
Leicester City CouncilLeicestershire0
Lewes District CouncilEast Sussex9
Lichfield District CouncilStaffordshire11
Lincoln City CouncilLincolnshire0
Liverpool City CouncilMerseyside0
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Barnet CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Bexley CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Brent CouncilGreater London2
London Borough of Bromley CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Camden CouncilGreater London5
London Borough of Croydon CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Ealing CouncilGreater London2
London Borough of Enfield CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Greenwich CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Hackney CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Haringey CouncilGreater London1
London Borough of Harrow CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Havering CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Hillingdon CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Hounslow CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Islington CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Kingston upon Thames CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Lambeth CouncilGreater London1
London Borough of Lewisham CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Merton CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Newham CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Redbridge CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames CouncilGreater London1
London Borough of Southwark CouncilGreater London1
London Borough of Sutton CouncilGreater London1
London Borough of Tower Hamlets CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Waltham Forest CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Wandsworth CouncilGreater London0
London Borough of Westminster CouncilGreater London2
Luton Borough CouncilBedfordshire0
Maidstone Borough CouncilKent4
Maldon District CouncilEssex1
Malvern Hills District CouncilWorcestershire6
Manchester City CouncilGreater Manchester0
Mansfield District CouncilNottinghamshire0
Medway CouncilKent0
Melton Borough CouncilLeicestershire6
Mendip District CouncilSomerset2
Mid Devon District CouncilDevon0
Mid Suffolk District CouncilSuffolk7
Mid Sussex District CouncilWest Sussex17
Middlesbrough Borough CouncilNorth Yorkshire1
Milton Keynes CouncilBuckinghamshire18
Mole Valley District CouncilSurrey4
New Forest District CouncilHampshire1
Newark & Sherwood District CouncilNottinghamshire7
Newcastle Upon Tyne City CouncilTyne & Wear0
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough CouncilStaffordshire2
North Devon CouncilDevon1
North East Derbyshire District CouncilDerbyshire6
North East LincolnshireLincolnshire0
North Hertfordshire District CouncilHertfordshire2
North Kesteven District CouncilLincolnshire8
North Lincolnshire CouncilLincolnshire1
North Norfolk District CouncilNorfolk1
North Somerset CouncilSomerset6
North Tyneside Borough CouncilTyne & Wear0
North Warwickshire Borough CouncilWarwickshire6
North West Leicestershire District CouncilLeicestershire2
Northampton Borough CouncilNorthamptonshire3
Northumberland County CouncilNorthumberland10
Norwich City CouncilNorfolk0
Nottingham City CouncilNottinghamshire0
Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough CouncilWarwickshire0
Oadby & Wigston Borough CouncilLeicestershire0
Oldham CouncilGreater Manchester0
Oxford City CouncilOxfordshire2
Pendle Borough CouncilLancashire2
Peterborough City CouncilCambridgeshire3
Plymouth City CouncilDevon1
Portsmouth City CouncilHampshire0
Preston City CouncilLancashire2
Reading Borough CouncilBerkshire0
Redcar & Cleveland Borough CouncilNorth Yorkshire0
Redditch Borough CouncilWorcestershire0
Reigate & Banstead Borough CouncilSurrey0
Ribble Valley Borough CouncilLancashire1
Richmondshire District CouncilNorth Yorkshire0
Rochdale Borough CouncilGreater Manchester0
Rochford District CouncilEssex0
Rossendale Borough CouncilLancashire0
Rother District CouncilEast Sussex4
Rotherham Borough CouncilSouth Yorkshire0
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea CouncilGreater London2
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead CouncilBerkshire5
Rugby Borough CouncilWarwickshire3
Runnymede Borough CouncilSurrey0
Rushcliffe Borough CouncilNottinghamshire5
Rushmoor Borough CouncilHampshire0
Rutland County CouncilRutland6
Ryedale District CouncilNorth Yorkshire0
Salford City CouncilGreater Manchester0
Sandwell Borough CouncilWest Midlands0
Scarborough Borough CouncilNorth Yorkshire0
Sedgemoor District CouncilSomerset5
Sefton Metropolitan Borough CouncilMerseyside3
Selby District CouncilNorth Yorkshire1
Sevenoaks District CouncilKent0
Sheffield City CouncilSouth Yorkshire0
Shropshire CouncilShropshire3
Slough Borough CouncilBerkshire0
Solihull CouncilWest Midlands3
Somerset West and Taunton CouncilSomerset5
South Buckinghamshire District CouncilBuckinghamshire0
South Cambridgeshire District CouncilCambridgeshire1
South Derbyshire District CouncilDerbyshire1
South Gloucestershire CouncilGloucestershire0
South Hams District CouncilDevon12
South Holland District CouncilLincolnshire0
South Kesteven District CouncilLincolnshire8
South Lakeland District CouncilCumbria3
South Norfolk District CouncilNorfolk3
South Northamptonshire District CouncilNorthamptonshire3
South Oxfordshire District CouncilOxfordshire19
South Ribble Borough CouncilLancashire1
South Somerset CouncilSomerset4
South Staffordshire District CouncilStaffordshire0
South Tyneside Borough CouncilTyne & Wear0
Southampton City CouncilHampshire1
Southend-on-Sea Borough CouncilEssex0
Spelthorne Borough CouncilSurrey0
St Albans CouncilHertfordshire1
St Helens Borough CouncilMerseyside0
Stafford Borough CouncilStaffordshire5
Staffordshire Moorlands District CouncilStaffordshire0
Stevenage Borough CouncilHertfordshire0
Stockport Metropolitan Borough CouncilGreater Manchester1
Stockton-on-Tees Borough CouncilCounty Durham0
Stoke-on-Trent City CouncilStaffordshire0
Stratford-on-Avon District CouncilWarwickshire15
Stroud District CouncilGloucestershire9
Sunderland City CouncilTyne & Wear0
Surrey Heath Borough CouncilSurrey1
Swale Borough CouncilKent1
Swindon Borough CouncilWiltshire4
Tameside Borough CouncilGreater Manchester0
Tamworth Borough CouncilStaffordshire0
Tandridge District CouncilSurrey2
Teignbridge District CouncilDevon7
Telford & Wrekin Borough CouncilShropshire5
Tendring District CouncilEssex0
Test Valley Borough CouncilHampshire1
Tewkesbury Borough CouncilGloucestershire6
Thanet District CouncilKent0
Three Rivers District CouncilHertfordshire1
Thurrock CouncilEssex0
Tonbridge & Malling Borough CouncilKent0
Torbay CouncilDevon3
Torridge District CouncilDevon0
Trafford CouncilGreater Manchester1
Tunbridge Wells Borough CouncilKent1
Uttlesford District CouncilEssex3
Vale of White Horse District CouncilOxfordshire9
Wakefield Metropolitan District CouncilWest Yorkshire1
Walsall Borough CouncilWest Midlands0
Warrington Borough CouncilCheshire1
Warwick District CouncilWarwickshire6
Watford Borough CouncilHertfordshire0
Waverley Borough CouncilSurrey2
Wealden District CouncilEast Sussex1
Wellingborough District CouncilNorthamptonshire3
Welwyn Hatfield Borough CouncilHertfordshire0
West Berkshire District CouncilBerkshire1
West Devon Borough CouncilDevon1
West Lancashire Borough CouncilLancashire1
West Lindsey District CouncilLincolnshire15
West Oxfordshire District CouncilOxfordshire5
West Suffolk CouncilSuffolk2
Wigan CouncilGreater Manchester1
Wiltshire CouncilWiltshire31
Winchester City CouncilHampshire1
Wirral Borough CouncilMerseyside2
Woking Borough CouncilSurrey3
Wokingham CouncilBerkshire2
Wolverhampton City CouncilWest Midlands2
Worcester City CouncilWorcestershire0
Worthing Borough CouncilWest Sussex0
Wychavon District CouncilWorcestershire7
Wycombe District CouncilBuckinghamshire3
Wyre Borough CouncilWorcestershire0
Wyre Forest District CouncilWorcestershire2
York City CouncilNorth Yorkshire3

What does the data tell us?

There are clearly significant differences between the number of approved Neighbourhood Plans in local planning authority areas. However authority boundaries are not all the same size; they cover vastly differing geographic areas and populations.

Communities have the right to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, but it is not a mandatory requirement. Those thousand communities who have successfully navigated the neighbourhood planning process made a choice to prepare a plan. Other communities may have made an informed choice not to write a plan.

Whilst there are some notable examples of good progress in urban areas, for example Leeds City Council, Milton Keynes, and recently in London, the table illustrates that take up of neighbourhood planning has been greatest in rural districts. Try searching by County in the table. There are many examples where the city boroughs have very few Neighbourhood Plans compared with surrounding rural districts - for example, in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, etc.

Rural communities may be better placed to prepare a plan as they are more likely to be located in a parish, represented by a town or parish council, therefore having established boundaries and existing governance structures in place.

Conversely, many urban areas may not have clearly defined boundaries and governance arrangements, and face the task of establishing a Neighbourhood Forum to lead the plan. Perhaps rural areas are more sensitive to the changes development brings. In addition, urban and rural communities may have differing characteristics and demographics.

It is likely that local planning authorities' approach to neighbourhood planning affects the progress of Neighbourhood Plans. In those areas where Neighbourhood Plans have come forward in abundance, those local planning authorities have positively embraced neighbourhood planning.

Creating space for Neighbourhood Plans

For example, the three local planning authorities with the most Neighbourhood Plans are:
  • Herefordshire Council - 71 plans
  • Cornwall Council - 38 plans
  • Wiltshire Council - 31 plans
Herefordshire's 'Core Strategy' has been prepared to provide a 'strategic base' for Neighbourhood Plans to allocate sites for housing, employment and other uses. The Core Strategy requires Neighbourhood Plans to allocate sites for key settlements, and in other areas identify non-strategic sites which will contribute to meeting the area's wider housing need.

Similarly, Cornwall Council's Local Plan and Wiltshire Council's Core Strategy provide strategic policies to inform the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans and other planning documents. Notably Cornwall and Wiltshire's Local Plans apportion housing growth to settlements, and allow Neighbourhood Plans opportunity to identify sites to deliver growth.

By sharing the responsibility for meeting the area's growth needs, Herefordshire, Cornwall and Wiltshire Council's have given Neighbourhood Plans an important purpose. The message for LPA's therefore is, if you create the right environment for Neighbourhood Plans, they will flourish.


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