The Localism Act 2011 introduced a range of new rights and powers. One of these rights was neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood development plans (or neighbourhood plans) give local communities the opportunity to develop a shared vision for their area. Each neighbourhood plan should be 'positively prepared’ and ‘add real value’ at local level.

Neighbourhood plans have statutory weight and status. Once adopted ('made'), they become part of the development plan for the designated area. They are used to help decide planning applications, where relevant. 

In Babergh, we have 37 Neighbourhood Plans. Many have already been adopted - and others are at an advanced stage of progress. You can access each neighbourhood plan at the end of this webpage.

What is best for your community?

To help decide what is right for your community, we suggest you start by reading our Guide to Community-led Planning Tools (July 2022). An updated version - which will summarise the various advantages and disadvantages of the options available - is currently in preparation.

Visit Locality's website to access more information about neighbourhood planning. Locality are the main and national source of support, which includes grant funding and technical guidance.

The Planning Practice Guidance website also provides information about the key neighbourhood plan stages.

People and Place

We are pleased to be involved with the government-funded pilot People and Place project, which will help us to help you influence and change planning within your community.

For more information, please access our People and Place webpage.

Apply to designate a neighbourhood area

Before you can create a neighbourhood plan, you will first need to apply to designate the area to which your plan will cover.

Parish clerks are able to apply to designate a neighbourhood area, on behalf of their parish, via our online form:

Apply to designate a neighbourhood area

Parish plans and village design statements

Parish plans and village design statements differ from neighbourhood plans in that they don't have statutory weight or status. Typically, they set out a broad vision for the area and are often used as a basis for preparing neighbourhood plans.

Village design statements provide a statement of the character and local identity of an area, and may be used to assess planning applications.

There are a number of parishes in Babergh with published parish plans and village design statements.