Top tips for writing a Neighbourhood Plan in 2019

by Ed Dade

Posted on Jan. 2, 2019

Perhaps you are thinking of writing a Neighbourhood Plan in 2019, or perhaps you are wondering if it is possible to write a Neighbourhood Plan in just one year?


The experience of many parish councils is that the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan can drag on for many years. Here are my top tips to get on with your plan and avoid becoming fatigued by the process!

  • Prepare a Project Plan and stick to it.
  • Keep it simple - your plan should focus only on the key issues which matter to your community - a plan with just a handful of policies can be very effective. 
  • Avoid repeating stuff already in the Local Plan - your policies should go above and beyond what the Local Plan says, and not simply duplicate it.
  • Communicate with your district council - keep them up to date with your progress, and discuss your draft policies to ensure you are on the right path and not in conflict with strategic issues.
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew when it comes to community engagement and consultation - some well-meaning groups may plan extensive programmes of consultation exercises, but this may be unnecessary. Ensure all consultation is focused and effective with a clear purpose. 

This is the first in a two-part post. Check out my example of a timetable / project plan for writing your plan.

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