Neighbourhood planning

Following the designation of the majority of areas and forums, many neighbourhood groups have moved on to start development of a Neighbourhood Plan. Neighbourhood groups can also develop Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.

This page helps preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, however, we recommend you read the locality neighbourhood plans roadmap guide which provides detailed guidance.

1. Key stages in development

Community and stakeholder engagement

Early and on-going engagement should be included, and a formal pre-submission consultation is a legal requirement. 

Council officers wouldn't usually attend neighbourhood consultations, however, if it would be useful for someone from the council to speak about a specific issue contact neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk before the meeting so an appropriate person can attend.

The results of consultations can be useful to the council in developing our own policies.

Sharing this information with us can help avoid consultation ‘overload’ and local communities may also be better at engaging with groups who are less involved with local plan preparation. 

Building the evidence base

However, there are also many sources of information on the internet which can be accessed directly.

Plan preparation

All neighbourhood plans are tested against the 4 conditions:

  • there is appropriate regard to national policy
  • they contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
  • they are in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan (Westminster’s City Plan and the London Plan)
  • they are compatible with EU obligations, including human rights requirements

More information

The council encourages close working relationships on policy development: timely advice from the council can help avoid pointless work by the neighbourhood group.

It is also important that expectations are realistic, particularly during the necessary engagement and consultation stages.

General conformity is limited to the ‘S’ policies in Westminster’s City Plan

There is, therefore, considerable scope for neighbourhood plans to include detailed planning policies appropriate to the neighbourhood area and reflecting the local community’s wishes and aspirations.

A neighbourhood plan can also include site allocations, or additional policy for existing site allocations, providing it is in general conformity.

It is also suggested that plans include lists of local projects to support development in order of priority to help inform decisions around CIL spending.

After the plan is prepared, it is submitted to the council who check compliance with the basic requirements and consult on it.

The plan is then examined by an independent person who reports back to the council.

The council will then organise a referendum for the neighbourhood plan.

If the plan has more than 50% yes votes, the council will bring the plan into force.

In designated business areas there are two referendums: 1 for residents registered on the electoral register and 1 for non-domestic ratepayers.

If both referendums have a 50% or more yes vote, the council will bring the plan into force.

If 1 has a majority ‘yes’ and 1 a majority ‘no’, it is at the discretion of the council whether to bring the plan into force.

2. External advice

There are many resources available as listed below if you need further advice.

Department for Communities and Local Government -  DCLG Neighbourhood Planning Guidance and The Neighbourhood Planning (General Regulations) 2012

Planning Advisory Service

Locality - information on grants available, including the new neighbourhood planning workshop grant. Key guides are: 

Knowledge hub - set up by locality for people to talk, connect and seek help on neighbourhood planning matters.

Planning Aid (forum for neighbourhood planning) with access to Neighbourhood Areas map. 

4. Baseline neighbourhood statistics

The following datasets are intended to assist neighbourhood forums in the preparation of their neighbourhood pans.

The 2011 census data is available at various levels of geography, however, designated neighbourhood areas only align with output areas (the small level of geography of which some data is available).

Download all 2011 census data (zip, 3MB) under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Themes

You can also download spreadsheets for individual themes of the census data:

Each spreadsheet has a column called ‘Neighbourhood’ in blue text. Users should filter this column to show the output areas within a designated neighbourhood area which will allow users to calculate the sum of subsequent columns in the spreadsheet.

 

5. News

Designation of the Hyde Park and Paddington Neighbourhood Forum -

Update July 2017

The council has designated the Hyde Park and Paddington Neighbourhood Forum.

There are now 16 Neighbourhood Forums and one Community Council in Westminster that can, and are, starting work on developing their neighbourhood plans. In the coming months the groups in these areas will discuss what people think about their neighbourhoods and start to develop policies for their neighbourhood plans.

Further information on each of the designated Neighbourhood Forums and the Queen’s Park Community Council can be found here.

New neighbourhood forum application – Hyde Park and Paddington

1 March 2017

The council has received a new application to designate Hyde Park and Paddington as a neighbourhood forum

The role of a neighbourhood forum is to represent the community and to lead the neighbourhood planning process and to develop a neighbourhood plan. These forums should be a mix of residents, workers and businesses to reflect the character of the area.

We are inviting comments on the proposed Hyde Park and Paddington neighbourhood forum. The deadline for comments is 20 April 2017.

Email comments to neighbourhoodplanning@westminster.gov.uk or post them to Neighbourhood Planning, Policy and Strategy, Westminster City Hall, 15th Floor, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP.

Designation of the St John’s Wood neighbourhood forum

17 June 2016

The council designated the St John’s Wood neighbourhood forum.

There are now 15 neighbourhood forums and one community council in Westminster that can, and are, starting work on developing their neighbourhood plans. In the coming months the groups in these areas will discuss what people think about their neighbourhoods and start to develop policies for their neighbourhood plans.

View more information on the designated neighbourhood forums and the Queen’s Park community council

6. Archived news


Last updated: 24 July 2017
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