Neighbourhood planning

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What is neighbourhood planning?

The Localism Act aims to put local people and local authorities at the heart of the planning process by reducing ‘top-down’ planning and creating new powers.

As well as growth identified in the council’s current development plan (which includes the adopted Joint Core Strategy and saved policies of the Tewkesbury Borough Plan adopted 2006), changes to the planning system allow local communities to come together to develop local planning policies and influence further growth through developing a neighbourhood plan. Once made (adopted), these will also form part of the Development Plan for Tewkesbury.

The council is now working on a review of the Joint Core Strategy with Cheltenham and Gloucester City; and the next Tewkesbury Borough Local Plan 2011 - 2031. Once adopted these will supersede the Joint Core Strategy adopted in December 2017 and the 2006 adopted Local Plan.

Neighbourhood planning in your community

Neighbourhood planning has an important role to play as part of the statutory planning framework. It is important to be aware that neighbourhood planning cannot be used to prevent development. Neighbourhood plans need to acknowledge that growth will take place under the National Planning Policy Framework. They should seek to influence how growth is managed, delivered and how development and investment in local infrastructure can provide benefits to local communities, in line with Tewkesbury’s Statutory Development Plan.

Who can prepare a neighbourhood plan?

Within Tewkesbury Borough, neighbourhood planning can only be undertaken by town and parish councils. To ensure these plans are truly led by the community, local people vote to approve them in a referendum. If the vote is successful they will form part of Tewkesbury’s Statutory Development Plan.

Types of neighbourhood plan

There are three types of neighbourhood plan:

  • Neighbourhood development plan
    Establishes a vision and general planning policies for the future development and use of land in your local area.

  • Neighbourhood development order
    Allows communities to grant planning permission for certain types of development that they want in their local area.

  • Community right to build order
    Allows communities to grant planning permission to build small-scale housing developments, community facilities or shops, which are identified as providing positive benefits by the community.

There is no requirement on communities to prepare a neighbourhood plan, but they are seen as a good option for communities as they demonstrate a willingness to engage positively in managing and influencing growth. They are given the same weight in considering planning applications as any other adopted plan, once they have had a successful examination and referendum and been ‘made’ by Tewkesbury Borough Council.

Neighbourhood planning process

The formal process of preparing a neighbourhood plan is set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 (as amended) which can be viewed at:

A neighbourhood plan should be prepared by town and parish councils and not Tewkesbury Borough Council.

At the meeting of the Executive Committee on 6 February 2019 it was resolved ‘That the Scheme of Delegation be amended to delegate authority to the Head of Development Services to approve the designation of neighbourhood areas where a relevant body proposes a neighbourhood area that follows their Parish Council boundary meeting the requirements of Regulation 5A of Statutory Instrument 2012/637 (The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulation 2012).

The 2016 changes no longer require the council to advertise and consult on these neighbourhood area applications. This was introduced to help speed up the initial stages of plan making. The committee’s decision and associated reports can be viewed at:


Read more about how to get involved in neighbourhood planning. It covers more detail on:

  • What to do if you want to embark on a neighbourhood plan

  • How to apply for a neighbourhood area designation

  • Funding for neighbourhood planning groups

  • Useful information

If you are already engaged in the neighbourhood planning progress you may find our neighbourhood planning preparation webpage of interest. It sets out details about:

  • Preparing a neighbourhood plan

  • What Tewkesbury Borough Council’s role is in neighbourhood planning

  • Regulation 14 – Pre-submission consultation and publicity of draft plan

  • Regulation 16 - Submission of final plan

  • Examination and referendum

To find details on neighbourhood plans made in Tewkesbury Borough; current consultations on neighbourhood plans; and communities engaged in the process and what stage they are at, go to our neighbourhood planning in Tewkesbury webpage.