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Get support with making a Neighbourhood Plan

Explore the following resources to find support and guidance for every stage of the work to create your own Neighbourhood Plan.

Understand the process

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RPTI)

The RPTI Planning Aid website is designed to support you in all aspects of planning, and have produced a factsheet specifically to advise you in developing a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

The CPRE offers a comprehensive guide to help you understand how to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan. 

Locality: The Building Community Consortium

Locality's Neighbourhood Planning website offers comprehensive help and advice. It has recently launched two new toolkits to help you plan projects in your local area:

  • Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDOs) and Community Right to Build Orders(CRtBOs)
    (CRtBOs) NDOs grant planning permission for specific projects, such as changes of use, certain kinds of alteration, the reinstatement of historical features or housing on allocated sites. CRtBOs are a kind of NDO which can grant planning permission for small-scale community-led developments. This toolkit provides guidance on the use of NDOs and CRtBOs. 

  • Design in Neighbourhood Planning 
    This toolkit supports you to assess the qualities and character of your neighbourhood plan area, helping to develop design policies. The tools will help you ensure that future development reflects local identity, helps create a sense of pride and works well for local needs. 

Support your proposals with the correct data and policy

The Prince’s Foundation BIMBY Guide

The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community provides a unique online tool to shape new developments. The BIMBY (Beauty-In-My-Back-Yard) supports people on the ground to inform planners and developers what they would like new housing to look like.

The website guides you through a series of three workshops to create your own unique housing manual. A BIMBY manual formalises what the community thinks is Beauty In My Back Yard, in a format that developers and planners will understand and can be used as a part of the neighbourhood plan evidence base.

Local Insight and Natural Neighbourhoods

These are two recently launched tools that can help you to develop a robust evidence base for your proposals.

  • Natural Neighbourhoods allows you to define a Neighbourhood Plan area and get specific area data reports.
  • Local Insight  is a community mapping and reporting tool that you can use to get up-to-date open data and analysis matched to your area.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy(CSE)

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has produced a 32-page guidance note designed to help community groups identify suitable areas for onshore wind development in their Neighbourhood Plan.

Apply for funding

Neighbourhood Planning grants

The Department for Communities and Local Government has made funding available to provide financial support, and you can apply now via the My Community website. Typically, up to £9000 is available, with up to an extra £6000 if your planning project has complex issues.

Read more about complex issues

If one or more of the following situations apply, you may be eligible for extra grant funding:

  • You are a neighbourhood forum (where there is no Parish or Town Council)
  • You are creating a plan for a cluster of parishes
  • Your area is deprived, or is experiencing high growth 
  • Your Neighbourhood Plan is business-led
  • You are creating a plan for an area with 25000 or more residents
  • You are preparing a Neighbourhood Development Order
Read more about typical grant-supported projects

The following are all typical project stages that you could apply for grant support with:

  • Developing a website
  • Training sessions for members of the steering group
  • Help with putting together a project plan
  • Undertaking a household survey
  • Help with developing the evidence base
  • Engaging a planning expert
  • Venue hire, publicity materials, printing and other costs associated with consultation
View regulations for grant applications

Please note the following restrictions when considering applying for a grant.

  • You can only apply for funds that you can spend within 6 months, or before the end of the current financial year, whichever is the earliest.
  • You can only apply for between £1000 and £9000. If your application is not within this range, it will be automatically rejected.
  • You cannot apply retrospectively for work that has already taken place.
  • You cannot apply for the cost of staff or volunteers' time, except for specialist consultants.

Tesco Green Space Grants

Does your neighbourhood plan have green space allocations? The Tesco Bags of Help Grants Programme, which is for local projects to improve green spaces in communities, could potentially help with implementation. 

Neighbourhood planning requires a substantial commitment. If you're considering taking on this work for your community, we strongly advise you to email us at neighbourhood_planning@bathnes.gov.uk, to get a clear idea of what's involved, and for advice to help you get started.