Neighbourhood plans

A neighbourhood plan provides an assessment of land use, infrastructure and aspirations for development and conservation.


- What is a neighbourhood plan?

- The neighbourhood plan process

- Neighbourhood development planning funding

- Proceeding to a referendum

- Designated plan areas

- Made (completed) neighbourhood plans

What is a neighbourhood plan?


To assess character and set guidelines to influence what future development should look like.


A neighbourhood plan forms part of the local authority development plan (subject to an independent examination and support by local referendum). It  might also result in a 'Neighbourhood Development Order' which (subject to an independent examination and support by local referendum) will set out development proposals without the need to seek planning permission.

The document

It will be expected to include an audit of land use and infrastructure together with views and opinion about local need and aspirations for conservation and development. It results in policies on objectives for the area, infrastructure priorities, and a map outlining open space of community importance, assets of community value and locations for development.

The neighbourhood plan protocol

The aim of this protocol is to provide clear guidance for those involved in the neighbourhood planning process. It sets out the stages required in working towards a neighbourhood plan and identifies the responsibilities of those involved.

Uttlesford District Council Neighbourhood Plan Protocol (PDF) [785KB]

The neighbourhood plan process

A number of parishes across the district are preparing plans and statements. The Council has established an agreement with the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) to support communities interested in community led planning. For further information on the support available please contact Jan Cole at RCCE on 01376 574330 or email

The Localism Act introduces a new right for a parish council or a neighbourhood forum to produce a 'neighbourhood development plan' setting out policies against which traditional planning applications could be judged.

These policies could cover:

  • planning objectives for the neighbourhood
  • the broad planning context (e.g. transport connections), local facilities, services
  • key neighbourhood projects and infrastructure priorities
  • development management policies on housing, economic development, environment
  • site-specific policies on housing, economic development and environmental issues
  • changes in the coverage of some planning designations

Neighbourhood development planning funding

The sum of £100,000 has been allocated to support neighbourhood development planning in the district.

Part of the allocated money will be used to fund independent professional advice to provide direct professional support to parish and town councils developing their neighbourhood development plans.

The rest of the money is set aside to provide grants to parish and town councils who are pursuing neighbourhood development plans and who have:

  • a Neighbourhood Development Area approved
  • submitted a funding application to the government grant scheme (through Locality)
  • funding allocated from parish or town council money

The total amount of funding allocated will depend on a number of variables but will take into account the size of the settlement or area as well as the other resources available. The funding will be up to a maximum of £10,000 per plan.

The funding will be retained by Uttlesford District Council as the accountable body and will be paid out on receipt of invoices to the parish or town council.

Please contact the Planning Policy Team on or 01799 510454/637 for further information.

Proceeding to a referendum

When a parish or town council's draft plan has been approved by an independent examiner, Uttlesford District Council is asked to put a question to voters of the relevant area at a referendum.

The question usually asks voters if they want Uttlesford District Council to use the neighbourhood plan when deciding planning applications in the area.

Groups supporting or opposing a referendum

If you are involved with a campaign group that supports or opposes a neighbourhood plan referendum you will need to tell us the names and contact details of the group's chair and vice-chair. Please send these to


We have put together a guide on Neighbourhood Planning Referendums (PDF) [329KB] . This provides information for district ward councillors, parish councillors and campaigners on restrictions on publicity during the referendum period and the limits on expenses.


An expenses form based on the Electoral Commission's expenses return for elections has been adapted for campaigners to use should they so wish. There is no legal requirement to make a return to the Counting Officer.

Designated plan areas

Uttlesford District Council have designated a number of Neighbourhood Plan Areas.

Ashdon Neighbourhood Plan

Broxted & Cherry Green Neighbourhood Plan

Great and Little Chesterford Neighbourhood Plan

Great Easton, Duton Hill and Tilty Neighbourhood Plan

Hatfield Broad Oak Neighbourhood Plan

Hatfield Heath Neighbourhood Plan

Little Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan

Little Easton Neighbourhood Plan

Radwinter Neighbourhood Plan

Saffron Walden Neighbourhood Plan

Stansted Mountfitchet Neighbourhood Plan

Takeley Neighbourhood Plan

Made (completed) neighbourhood plans

Felsted Neighbourhood Plan

Great Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan 

Newport and Quendon & Rickling Neighbourhood Plan

Stebbing Neighbourhood Plan

Thaxted Neighbourhood Plan

Additional information

RCCE community led planning