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About Me

All Things Neighbourhood Planning is written and maintained by a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, with a keen interest in neighbourhood planning.

I have provided support and advice to neighbourhood planning groups since the advent of neighbourhood planning. I am currently providing support and assistance to several neighbourhood planning groups in eastern England.

Through this site, I aim to provide advice on some of the more technical aspects and issues affecting Neighbourhood Plans in practice.

My pages and posts are aimed at parish and town councils, neighbourhood forums and their volunteers who are preparing, or are interested in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. In addition, my site is intended to provide useful information to planning professionals, such as planning consultants and local authority planning officers involved in preparing plans, decision-making and carrying out statutory duties related to neighbourhood planning.

I also have an interest in web development and coding, and hope to develop a series of web apps to help planners and neighbourhood planners to write plans -

Check out my Housing Delivery Test Checker to see how your area performed under the government's new test which punishes local authorities which haven't met their housing targets.

How to use this site

The Home page provides a simple menu for navigating the site.

Through my Blog I explore how Neighbourhood Plans are being applied in practice and provide advice for preparing Neighbourhood Plans. To browse all posts click 'Archive' to browse by date, or 'Labels' to browse posts by theme, on the right-hand side of the page. In some browsers you may need to click an icon at the top right of the page (shown as three horizontal orange lines) to reveal a side bar. The side bar provides drop down menus to browse posts by date and by theme.

The Neighbourhood Plan Process page explains the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan from start to finish.

I have begun developing Tools which I think will be useful to neighbourhood planners and professional planners. The Housing Delivery Test Checker has proven quite popular and is simple to use, free and requires no registration. Simply bookmark the page and keep checking back to find the HDT results, and to see future updates.

I take the protection of personal data seriously, view my Privacy Policy to find out more.

Keep up to date by subscribing, using the 'Subscribe' button at the top of the page.

If you have enjoyed a post, feel free to leave a comment, send me a tweet, or click the 'Share' button to publish a link on social media.

Get in touch

You can follow me on Twitter, and send me a tweet by clicking the button:


Alternatively, contact me via email at info@neighbourhood-planning.co.uk

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Popular posts from this blog

Housing Delivery Test 2019 Results Published

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has now published the latest results of its Housing Delivery Test (HDT), based on the number of new homes built in the period 2016 to 2019.

The HDT 2019 measurement for each council area is provided in the searchable table below.
How the Housing Delivery Test is calculated The HDT calculates the number of new homes built, as a percentage of the number of homes needed over the past three years. MHCLG re-calculates an HDT figure annually for every council area in England. The new 2019 measurement replaces the previous 2018 measurement.
Consequences of the Housing Delivery Test The purpose of the HDT is to hold local authorities to account over the supply of new housing.

Where the HDT shows the delivery of new homes has fallen below 95% of the district or borough's housing requirement over the previous three years, the council should prepare an Action Plan to assess the causes of under-delivery and identify actions to…

Exciting changes to the Plan Finder...

I've given the Neighbourhood Plan Finder a major upgrade, transforming it into a fully fledged web app!

Loyal readers will know that this site provides the most comprehensive directory of made Neighbourhood Plans on the web. However, the original Plan Finder was a little 'clunky'.

The new and improved Plan Finder offers better results and improved functionality, enabling users to perform a simple search to locate made Neighbourhood Plans. For example, with the new Plan Finder you can search for Neighbourhood Plans by:
Name or location of Neighbourhood PlanLocal Planning Authority e.g. district or borough councilCountyNational ParkReferendum date, in format "YYYY-MM-DD" e.g. a search for '2019-12' will return plans which passed referendum in December 2019. This directory of Neighbourhood Plans is intended to raise the profile of Neighbourhood Plans by helping people to find plans more easily. For example, helping developers and agents to locate plans which…

Neighbourhood Plan Review: Plans made in July 2019

Neighbourhood Plans provide a bespoke planning framework for the local area. No two plans are alike, although many have similar characteristics and address common themes. This post provides a short summary of those Neighbourhood Plans which successfully passed referendum in July 2019, highlighting the elements which make each plan locally specific and unique.

The purpose of this post is to celebrate the achievement of those communities in successfully preparing their Neighbourhood Plans, and to share the interesting ideas and policies for the benefit of others who are currently writing their plans. Links to the Neighbourhood Plans are provided throughout the post.
Navigate this post using the map July was a busy month, with a whopping 24 Neighbourhood Plans successfully passing referendum. To  make it easier to navigate this post, the location of the areas covered by each new Neighbourhood Plan are shown on the interactive map. Click on a marker to reveal a link to the plan's su…

Why the Middlewich Neighbourhood Plan failed

News that the Middlewich Neighbourhood Plan was rejected at referendum has spread rapidly across social media and has even been picked up by local and national press - see BBC article.

The story has garnered a lot of attention as it is highly unusual for a Neighbourhood Plan to be rejected. The Middlewich Neighbourhood Plan is only the third Neighbourhood Plan not to be supported by residents.

At the referendum held on 14 March 2019, the Neighbourhood Plan was rejected, albeit by a very slim margin of just 22 votes.
'No' Campaign Prior to the referendum, Labour town councillors led a campaign which encouraged local people to vote against the Neighbourhood Plan. 
Based on the literature shared by the campaign group, opposition to the Middlewich Neighbourhood Plan appears to be pointed at three key issues: Impacts on the town and its infrastructure of the overall scale of growth Middlewich is expected deliverDisagreement with the individual sites identified by the Neighbourhood …

Secretary of State overturns Planning Inspector's decision due to density concerns

Normally, planning appeals are determined by Planning Inspectors, but in some circumstances appeals may be 'recovered' for determination by the Secretary of State (SoS). The current SoS for Housing, Communities and Local Government is James Brokenshire MP.

In December 2018, the SoS issued a decision on a recovered appeal at Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire. The proposal for residential development of up to 203 dwellings, a doctor’s surgery, open space and landscaping, together with pedestrian, cycle and vehicular access, was initially refused by Milton Keynes Council, and following appeal, granted permission by a Planning Inspector. However, the SoS recovered the appeal and overturned the Inspector's decision, dismissing the appeal.

Details of the case are available on the Planning Inspectorate's website, using case reference: APP/Y0435/W/17/3169314.
Appeal site & Neighbourhood Plan The appeal site is a 15.2 hectare, greenfield site, located outside the development bo…

Just how big is an infill site? Appeal decision: Chinnor, Oxfordshire

An appeal decision initially caught my eye due to its surprising interpretation of 'infill development' -  but also raises some concerning issues around how Neighbourhood Plan policies are applied during the decision-making process.

The appeal relates to an application for the construction of up to 140 dwellings, new public open space, associated landscaping and site infrastructure on a 3.9ha site at Chinnor, Oxfordshire. The application was made by Persimmon Homes and initially refused by South Oxfordshire District Council. The appeal was allowed, meaning the Planning Inspector went against the district council's decision grant planning permission for the scheme. Details of the appeal can be found using the following reference APP/Q3115/W/17/3187058. Neighbourhood Plan & Development Plan Chinnor is a large village in Oxfordshire. The Chinnor Neighbourhood Plan (CNP) was 'made' in October 2017. When the appeal commenced, the Neighbourhood Plan was less than one…

Appeal granted in countryside despite Five Year Land Supply - Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan

Through a recent appeal decision, a Planning Inspector has granted outline planning permission for up to 55 dwellings and 'Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace' (SANG) at land at Parklands, east of Basingstoke Road, Spencers Wood, Wokingham.

The decision was issued on 28th February 2019, under appeal reference APP/X0360/W/18/3204133.

The appeal site is located between two villages, Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood. The scheme proposes two areas of development adjoining each of the villages, separated by an area of open space - a 'SANG'.
Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan The Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan (SNP) was made in February 2017. Policy 1 of the SNP addresses the location of development:

In Shinfield Parish, development within the Development Limits..., will be supported; development adjacent to the Development Limits will only be supported where the benefits of the development outweigh its adverse impacts. 

'Development limits' are a very common planning …

Essential reading for Neighbourhood Planners

Through my site neighbourhood-planning.co.uk I have attempted to explain the neighbourhood planning process, and provide regular blog posts on the latest issues affecting neighbourhood planning. But where can you go to find out more?

In this article I attempt to summarise where you should go for the most useful information and guidance, and where you can find funding and support for writing a Neighbourhood Plan.
Locality Toolkits and Guidance Locality administer the government's current programme of support for neighbourhood planning groups, and Locality's neighbourhoodplanning.org site should be your first port of call when writing a Neighbourhood Plan.
Locality has produced an excellent series of 'toolkits & guidance' on a range of issues to assist the preparation of neighbourhood plans. It is difficult to understate how valuable Locality's guides are for budding neighbourhood planners. Be sure you don't miss: The Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap 2018 by Dave …

Neighbourhood Plan Review: Plans Made in September 2019

This post explores Neighbourhood Plans which successfully passed referendum in September 2019, highlighting elements which make each plan locally specific and unique. The following Neighbourhood Plans passed referendum in September 2019:
Bawtry Neighbourhood Plan (Doncaster Council)Brackenfield Neighbourhood Plan (North East Derbyshire District Council)Chelford Neighbourhood Plan (Cheshire East Council)Congresbury Neighbourhood Plan (North Somerset Council)Glentworth Neighbourhood Plan (West Lindsey District Council)Hanslope Neighbourhood Plan (Milton Keynes Council)Hullavington Neighbourhood Plan (Wiltshire Council)Huntingdon Neighbourhood Plan (Huntingdonshire District Council)Misterton Neighbourhood Plan (Bassetlaw District Council)Moreton, Bobbingworth and the Lavers Neighbourhood Plan (Epping Forest District Council)Sedgefield Neighbourhood Plan (Durham County Council)Sedgeford Neighbourhood Plan (Kings Lynn & West Norfolk District Council)Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan (Sidmo…

"Presumption-proofing" Neighbourhood Plans

Planning law states that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Therefore, where a planning application conflicts with an up-to-date Local Plan or any Neighbourhood Plans, permission should not usually be granted unless there are material considerations which indicate that a departure from the plan(s) would be appropriate.

In July 2018, government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) replacing the previous 2012 framework. The NPPF is potentially one form of ‘material consideration’. The current (and former) NPPF includes a 'presumption in favour of sustainable development'.

The ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ applies where there are no relevant development plan policies, or the policies which are most important for determining applications, including housing development, are out-of-date

Crucially, the NPPF considers plans to be ou…