Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning in Trafford

Designated Neighbourhood Areas in Trafford:

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and gives local people a major statutory say in helping to shape development in the areas in which they live. It empowers communities to shape the development and growth of a local area through the production of a neighbourhood plan.

Plans will become part of the local statutory development plan and will form the basis for determining planning applications in that area.  They are a new way for local communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work.

Why does it matter?

The planning system helps decide what gets built, where and when. Planning is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people's quality of life, and protecting the natural environment.

While the planning system provides opportunities for communities to get involved in development decisions that affect them, in practice they have often found it difficult to have a meaningful say. The introduction of neighbourhood planning puts power back in the hands of local residents, businesses, parish councils and civic leaders.

Communities will be in the driving seat of neighbourhood planning. The local parish or town council will lead the work. In areas without a parish council, Neighbourhood Forums will need to be established and take the lead. In areas which are predominately commercial (such as a high street or town centre), a Business Neighbourhood Plan should be produced by a Business Neighbourhood Forum.

The local planning authority must provide support and make the necessary decisions at key stages, for example, it will organise an independent examination and, as the responsible authority for running elections in the area, the neighbourhood referendum at the end of the process. The referendum ensures that the local community has the final say on whether a neighbourhood development plan comes into force in their area. For a Business Neighbourhood Plan, there are two referenda – one for residents and one for non-domestic rate payers.

More information

A Neighbourhood Plan is an important document with real legal force therefore there are certain formal procedures that it must go through.  More information on Neighbourhood Planning and a series of guides and tools can be found via

The website contains toolkits and ‘how to’ advice such as:

A roadmap guide for those involved in or thinking about producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

Further information can be found by accessing the resources library.

Financial support

Guidance and legislation