Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act 2011 provides a new statutory regime for neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to shape the development and growth of a local area, through the production of a Neighbourhood Development Plan (Neighbourhood Plan), a Neighbourhood Development Order or a Community Right to Build Order.

Neighbourhood Plans will become part of the statutory development plan which form's the basis for determining planning applications in that area.

Neighbourhood Plans can range in complexity depending on the wishes of local people – they may be very simple or go into considerable detail as to where people want development.

Neighbourhood Plans Can Be Used To

  • Choose where new homes, shops and offices should be built, and
  • Have a say on what those new buildings should look like.

Neighbourhood Plans can be detailed or general, depending what local people want. A Neighbourhood Plan must conform with the overall strategy of the Local Plan - the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

A Neighbourhood Plan can be used to promote more development than is set out in the SWDP but should not promote less development. Once a Neighbourhood Plan is "made", and adopted, it will become part of the Development Plan for Malvern Hills District.

Neighbourhood Development Orders allow the community to grant planning permission for development that complies with the order. This removes the need for a planning application to be submitted to Malvern Hills District Council.

Certain types of development would be excluded from a Neighbourhood Development Order such as minerals or waste development (which would normally by handled by the County Council), nationally significant infrastructure projects and development of a type prescribed by Government.

A Community Right to Build Order is a sub-category of a Neighbourhood Development Order. A Community Right to Build Order gives permission for small-scale, site-specific developments by a community group.

The essential difference between Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders, is that the party proposing the latter is a "community organisation" established for the express purpose of furthering social, environmental and economic well-being in the area and that the order grants planning permission for a specific project on a specific site only.

Who Can Prepare a Neighbourhood Plan?

Two types of ‘relevant body' can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan – a parish or town council and a neighbourhood forum. In areas where a parish or town council exists, these are the only bodies that can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan.

Where a parish or town council does not exist, community members can create a neighbourhood forum. Only one neighbourhood forum is allowed to exist for each neighbourhood to be covered by a Neighbourhood Plan.

The neighbourhood forum must have the purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area and seek to have representative membership from across the neighbourhood area. It must have a written constitution and a minimum of 21 members.

Malvern Hills District is a fully parished area. Therefore neighbourhood planning in the District will be led by parish and town councils.

Guide to Developing a Neighbourhood Plan

We have prepared a Guide to developing a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Guide attempts to answer many of the frequently asked questions about neighbourhood planning, and outlines the key steps towards developing a Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood Planning Front Runners in Malvern Hills District

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) introduced a 'Front Runner' programme, which included over 200 Neighbourhood Planning projects.

The programme provided funding and support to help communities make a start on producing Neighbourhood Plans.

In May 2012, DCLG approved Kempsey Parish Council's bid for a Front-Runner Grant of £20,000 to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish.

Neighbourhood Areas

The designation of a 'neighbourhood area' is the first formal stage in the neighbourhood plan process.

To date, the following Parish Councils have applied for Neighbourhood Area designations (please see below for further details on each Parish Council application):

  • Tenbury Town and Burford Parish Councils - Approved
  • Abberley Parish Council - Approved
  • Upton upon Severn Town Council - Approved
  • Great Witley and Hillhampton Parish Council - Approved
  • Malvern Town Council - Approved
  • Kempsey Parish Council - Approved
  • Clifton-upon-Teme Parish Council - Approved
  • Leigh and Bransford Parish Council - Approved
  • Alfrick and Lulsley Parish Council - Approved
  • Martley, Knightwick and Doddenham Parish Councils - Approved
  • Little Malvern and Welland Parish Council - Approved
  • Hanley Castle Parish Council - Approved
  • Map of designated Neighbourhood Areas in Malvern Hills District

More information on each designation can be found on the Designated Neighbourhood Areas webpage.

Neighbourhood Area Designation Consultations

Information relating to Neighbourhood Area Designation consultation notifications will appear here.  

Further Information

Further information and guidance on Neighbourhood Planning is available at the following websites: