Neighbourhood planning resources

Support and guidance to help you produce a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood plans enable communities to prepare planning policies to guide future development in their local area. The plans can also include site allocations.

Once adopted neighbourhood plans become part of the development plan and the policies contained within them are then used in the determination of planning applications.

Neighbourhood planning process

When preparing a neighbourhood plan certain prescribed steps must be followed. This process includes formal designation of a ‘neighbourhood area’, consultation with the local community and consideration of the plan by an independent examiner and a public referendum. 

Neighbourhood plans cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan. They must also:

  • have regard to national policies and advice, such as the National Planning Policy Framework
  • contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
  • be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for the borough of Surrey Heath
  • Be compatible with European obligations and human rights requirements.


Grant funding and some technical support is available from the government for communities wanting to prepare neighbourhood plans. For more information visit the Neighbourhood Planning website (external link).

Support from Surrey Heath Borough Council

Surrey Heath Borough Council has a statutory role in the preparation of neighbourhood plans as follows:

  • designating the neighbourhood area and neighbourhood forum
  • publicising the submitted neighbourhood plan
  • arranging and funding the examination
  • publicising the examiner’s report and plan proposal decision;
  • arranging and funding the referendum;
  • adopting the plan.

We can provide a range of support which is detailed on the neighbourhood plan process webpage.

Advice from other organisations

There are a number of organisations that provide detailed advice on the preparation of neighbourhood plans:

Contact the Planning Policy team