Community Led Planning
Community led planning is a community planning tool that has been successfully used for many years. A community led plan (also known as a parish plan or village plan) can help identify local issues that are important to residents and improve your local area through community action. Preparing a community led plan allows everyone in the community to come together and participate in and influence what happens in their neighbourhood, town or village. Whether your community has a few hundred or a few thousand people, preparing a community led plan can be one of the most rewarding things you do.
A community led plan (CLP) includes a vision and an action plan of practical actions which a community can work together with local agencies, organisations and volunteers to achieve and bring about real change. A CLP can address a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues important to communities, including land use, housing issues, community facilities, play areas, transport and services. It can include a comprehensive action plan that sits within a detailed historical village document, or a simple community action/project plan. Use of the nationally recognised nine-step CLP toolkit is encouraged, however a shorter CLP process can be just as effective.
Planning options for communities
Communities should first identify what issues or opportunities might need to be addressed before then considering the best way of addressing them. Community led plans and neighbourhood plans are examples of planning tools available, but there are other types of plans such as a neighbourhood development order or a community right to build order, and it is choose one that is most appropriate for your community. Community led plans can be used to inform neighbourhood plans on the wider issues and needs for a community. These two types of plans can be done at the same time.
In summary, the term 'community planning' now includes various types of plan:
- Community led planning (also known as parish plan or village plan) is the broad community planning tool that has been used for many years.
- Neighbourhood planning (and Neighbourhood Development Orders, Community Right to Build Orders) addresses spatial development issues and are part of statutory development framework. Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act November 2011
For more information on neighbourhood plans, please visit our neighbourhood planning page.
Benefits of doing a community led plan
Once finished, your community led plan will be one of over 4,000 produced nationally and can bring many benefits to your local community:
- community led planning can bring the community together, engender community spirit and build capacity in your community to deal effectively with current and future issues that arise
- CLPs provide clear evidence of community aspirations and priorities to help bid for funds to improve your community
- they may provide evidence of need to support discussions with developers, where appropriate, to help secure S106 and future CIL agreements
- they can inform local councils and other agencies working to deliver services in your community and influence others to take action
- they include an action plan of practical actions which your community can work together with local agencies to achieve
- A community led plan can add value to neighbourhood plans and is often a good place to start
Support for developing a CLP
The district council works closely with communities to provide specialist advice, financial support for different aspects of your community led plan, and lots of practical guidance for all types of plans, including CLPs, at all stages of the process. For more information please read this document for parishes producing a community led plan
If you are interested in developing a community led plan for your community, or want to find out more, please contact Anne Richardson from the Policy and Partnerships team using the details in the contact section of this page.
We suggest you also contact if you are thinking about doing a Community Led Plan for advice and support. You can also visit for more information, and email CFO to register your interest and they will contact you to get the ball rolling. You can also see who else is involved in community led planning and look at some plans already developed by others.
Last reviewed: 30 - 05 - 2018