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Make a Neighbourhood Plan

Coronavirus update - Neighbourhood planning

View details of how normal regulations and services may be affected

Progressing your Neighbourhood Plan during the pandemic

In supporting Neighbourhood Planning activities, our advice on the necessary consultation stages will follow the guidance in the NPPG (as amended to reflect Covid-19 circumstances).  

It is still essential that all residents, businesses and other stakeholders with an interest in the Neighbourhood Plan are kept informed and have the opportunity to engage in neighbourhood planning. However, consultation does not need to happen face-to-face, and greater use of online tools is likely to be appropriate, along with other targeted methods of canvassing opinion, particularly for those without internet access.  

Under current Government regulations, no Community Referendum (the final stage before a Plan can be adopted) will take place before 6th May 2021.


Your community can influence the future of its neighbourhood by preparing a Neighbourhood Plan that sets out your vision for the local area and general planning policies to guide developments. This can help determine where new homes and businesses can be built, and what they should look like.

Once a Neighbourhood Plan is made, it becomes part of the statutory Development Plan, and we will consult it to determine whether to approve proposed developments. 

Follow these steps to create a Neighbourhood Plan for your area

  1. Step 1

    In order to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, the 'qualifying body' (usually your town or parish council) has to apply to us to designate the area the plan will apply to. 

    Your application should submit a map of the proposed area, and state why the qualifying body should determine what is best for this area. There will then be a consultation period. During this time, the public can view and comment on the application at Bath Central Library and in the Bath One Stop Shop.

    We are now accepting applications for designation as Neighbourhood Forums and Neighbourhood Areas. To get designation for your area, download, complete and return the correct form below.

    For un-parished areas within the City of Bath

    Neighbourhood Forum Designation application form

    For parish and town councils

    Neighbourhood Area Designation application form

    Please email us your application or send it to Planning Policy, Planning Services, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG.

    At this stage, your project has the status of a Proposed Neighbourhood Plan.


  2. Step 2

    Neighbourhood Plans can be general or more detailed, depending on what is important to local people. However, they must conform with the policies in the Core Strategy for the area, and the National Planning Policy Framework.

    Explore our Neighbourhood Planning support resources, which include step-by-step guides to help you develop a thorough plan. They offer details of grant funding you can apply for, and Neighbourhood Planning workshops with detail on key issues.

    You can also view Neighbourhood Plans from local areas, to see what they cover, and better understand the process at different stages.

    Your plan will need to include policy work on the following issues, at a minimum:

    • Community facilities (such as highways, lighting and car parks)
    • Allocated sites for future development
    • Sites to be retained as local green spaces
    • Business and employment
    • Housing
    • The natural and historic environment
    • Transport
    1. Before you submit your draft plan to us, you will need to give local people an opportunity to view and comment (normally at least six weeks), and take advice from your local planning authority. This may involve several rounds of amending and re-presenting your plan.

    2. At this stage, your project has the status of a Draft Neighbourhood Plan. 

  3. Step 3

    There are four stages to bringing your plan into force, as follows:

    • Submit the plan to us for public consultation.
    • An independent expert will examine the plan, to ensure that it covers all of the necessary policy areas, and there is a clear evidence base for its approach.
    • There will be a public referendum on the plan, where local people have the opportunity to accept or reject it.
    • If the referendum has a positive result, the plan will be adopted, or made. 


  4. Step 4

    Once it comes into force, there will still be monitoring of the plan in use, and it may be amended at a later date.

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, to get a clear idea of what's involved, and for advice to help you get started.