Planning and building

Neighbourhood planning

Government rules give local communities powers to create their own plans and policies. Download 'A step by step guide to producing a Neighbourhood Plan' to see how your community can get involved. You can also view the Government's Planning Policy Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning, which includes key stages and considerations required in developing a Neighbourhood Plan for your area.

Neighbourhood Plan Planning Guidance Update 

The Government have updated the Neighbourhood Planning Planning Policy Guidance in relation to Neighbourhood Planning Referendums to respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic until further notice. The updated guidance states:

  • Referendums: All neighbourhood planning referendums that have been recently cancelled, or are scheduled to take place, between 16 March 2020 and 5 May 2021 are postponed in line with the Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 until 6 May 2021.
  • Decision-making: Where the local planning authority has issued a decision statement (as set out under Regulation 25 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012) detailing its intention to send a neighbourhood plan to referendum, that plan can be given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application.

  • Examinations: The general rule remains that examinations should be conducted by written representations. If an examiner considers that oral representations are necessary, these should not take place in person. Where feasible, oral representations may still take place using video conferencing or other suitable technologies.

  • Public consultation: Neighbourhood planning groups or local planning authorities intending to undertake public consultation and notification (as set out under Regulation 14 and Regulation 16 respectively of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012) should consider the government’s current guidance on staying at home and away from others or any superseding guidance.

Neighbourhood Plans in York

Adopted plans form part of the Development Plan for the city and are a material consideration in planning decisions. City of York has adopted the following Neighbourhood Plans:

Parish councils/ Neighbourhood Forums in York working towards producing Neighbourhood Plans are:

Creating Neighbourhood Plans

By law, Neighbourhood Plans must be in line with national planning policy, strategic policies in our New Local Plan and where applicable, meet EU regulations including:

The Neighbourhood Planning Regulations came into force in April 2012 and set out the detailed legislative framework for undertaking Neighbourhood Plans. These were amended in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

The amendment, which came into force in October 2016, prescribes 2 cases where a Local Planning Authority must designate all of the neighbourhood areas specified in a neighbourhood area application. These are:

  • Where a parish council applies for the whole parish to be designated as a neighbourhood area or applies to enlarge an existing designation of a smaller part of the parish to cover the whole of the parish (this requirement does not apply where some of the parish is already part of a neighbourhood area that extends beyond the parish boundaries).
  • Where an LPA has not determined an application for designation of a neighbourhood area by the date prescribed. This requirement does not apply where any part of the area applied for has already been designated or is included in an area designation application that has not yet been decided.

The Localism Act

The Localism Act 2011 encourages local communities to come together and get more involved in planning for their areas by producing Neighbourhood Plans which can set out policies for planning, development and the use of land in a neighbourhood, including:

  • where new homes and offices should be built
  • what they should look like
  • what new community facilities are needed and where

A Neighbourhood Plan can be detailed or general depending what local people want, but must still meet the needs of the wider area. In most cases, this means Neighbourhood Plans have to take into account our current 'evidence bases' including assessments of housing and other development needs in the area.

Also see

Neighbourhood Planning

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 552255

Strategic Planning

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 552255

Planning Policy Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning

Get planning policy guidance from GOV.UK, explaining the neighbourhood planning system, including key stages and considerations required.

Neighbourhood Planning