Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning is a community-led process. It enables people to help shape development in their local area.

There are three tools to help shape local development:

  • neighbourhood development plans that set out local planning policies that form part of the planning framework for their area
  • neighbourhood development orders that grant planning permission for a specified development
  • community right to build orders that identify land for new development.

Neighbourhood development plans are delivered by 'neighbourhood forums' for their 'neighbourhood area'.

List of current Brent neighbourhood forums and plans

How we can help and how you can get involved

We are responsible for agreeing and designating neighbourhood forums and neighbourhood areas.

Our neighbourhood planning protocol provides an overview of the process and the roles of the forum and the council.

The statutory process includes consultation, referendum and independent examination.

Is neighbourhood planning right for you?

Before committing to the neighbourhood planning process, it is worth identifying the local issues you wish to tackle.

Neighbourhood plans are appropriate for issues such as designating land use or specifying design criteria. We may already have policies in place which are sufficient to deal with your issue.

Neighbourhood plans must be in line with existing planning policies and cannot resolve matters such as servicing or rubbish collections.

How to apply to become a neighbourhood forum

If you are thinking of becoming a neighbourhood forum email the planning policy team at beforehand so we can help guide you through the process.

We will meet with you and your group to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.

Groups applying to become neighbourhood forums must meet a number of criteria in order to make the submission valid such as: 

Neighbourhood forums need to be representative of the local community. You will need to consider how to involve a wide range of people both in the forum and in preparing the plan.

Applications for the designation of a neighbourhood forum are subject to a six week consultation period.

We will consider applications for neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood area at the same time.

Defining your neighbourhood area

There is no fixed definition or size threshold for a neighbourhood area. A workable boundary for a neighbourhood area is likely to emerge through discussions with the local community, the council and from walkabouts.

The boundary can also be defined by the issues involved such as a conservation area or town centre. Neighbourhood areas can cross borough boundaries but cannot overlap with another neighbourhood area.

Applications for the designation of a neighbourhood area are subject to a six week consultation period.

We are responsible for agreeing and designating the neighbourhood area.

Help to produce a neighbourhood plan

A government fund was announced in February 2015 to support neighbourhood planning groups. This fund is managed by Locality and is to run to 2018. View further information on the MyCommunity website.

A number of organisations provide free advice and help.