Neighbourhood Plans

The Government created neighbourhood planning to empower local communities to help local people to direct and shape the way their local communities grow and develop into the future.

What is a neighbourhood plan?

A neighbourhood development plan, known as a neighbourhood plan, is written by local people, 'made' or adopted by the district council and becomes part of the development plan, which helps to decide planning applications. It takes national planning policy and guidance into account and is 'in general conformity' with the district's planning policy. 

Who prepares a neighbourhood plan?

Most neighbourhood plans in this district are prepared by town or parish councils but parish meetings need to set up a neighbourhood forum. This is made up of 21 or more people who live, work or run a business in the neighbourhood area. They have similar neighbourhood plan writing powers as town or parish councils.

If your neighbourhood plan meets basic conditions, set out in law and checked by an independent examiner, your community will have the opportunity to vote on the plan at referendum. If more than 50% of the people who vote say 'yes' the district council will formally 'make' your plan and use it to help decide planning matters.

What support do we offer for preparing your neighbourhood plan?

We strongly support neighbourhood planning throughout the process including:

  • advice and an introductory meeting to discuss your aims and outline the process for you

  • contact with a lead officer for your plan, who attends your group meetings when appropriate and brings their own and other colleagues' professional experience to you

  • direct funding support from the district council

  • advice on engaging with your community and the need to record engagement

  • advice on the types of evidence needed to write your plan and whom to consult

  • review of your draft neighbourhood plan to ensure it meets the basic conditions and

  • arranging and paying for the independent examination and the referendum.

If you would like to find out more about getting started, please contact a neighbourhood planning officer by phoning 01235 422600 or emailing

Check out more details:

Neighbourhood plans in your area - at what stage is your community?

Check out your community's progress

View of map of Neighbourhood Planning progress in South Oxfordshire (659.4 KB) PDF  (August 2017)


Evidence is key to a successful neighbourhood plan. Some local evidence you may need to collect yourselves but, in preparing our district development plan documents, we use a wide range of evidence base studies that we are happy to share with you. To check out these studies visit our evidence base page

Community led planning

Many of you have already been involved in community led planning, for example parish plans or village plans, which can engage the community on similar topics to a neighbourhood plan. Take a look at our community-led planning section.

Last reviewed: 31 - 01 - 2018

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