What is neighbourhood planning?

Update - December 2015

On 3 December 2015 Walton Neighbourhood Plan went through a successful referendum when 95.39% of those who voted said YES to Wakefield Council using the Neighbourhood Plan for Walton Neighbourhood Area to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area. More information can be found on the Walton Neighbourhood Planning and Referendum pages.

We are currently going through the process of adopting the Plan so that it forms part of the district's Development Plan. It is anticipated that we will adopt the Plan in April 2016.

Neighbourhood Areas Already Designated

There are currently four designated neighbourhood areas in the Wakefield District - Walton, Crofton, Badsworth and Ackworth. All the areas were put forward by the respective parish council and cover the entire parish. Details of these individual areas can be viewed in their own webpage and can be accessed from the 'Neighbourhood Planning' section on this page.

The Neighbourhood Area District Map shows how much of the district is designated.

Background to Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new tier to the planning system - neighbourhood planning. The purpose is to allow local people to be involved in shaping the future of the areas in which they live and work. It will give people greater involvement and ownership of the plans and policies that affect their area. These local planning policies will become part of the planning framework and will be used when considering planning applications in the area.

Neighbourhood planning is not led by us, but by either a town or parish council or a designated neighbourhood forum. Our role is to advise, manage and support the process.

Neighbourhood plans should enable and promote development and might specify, for example, what green spaces should be protected, where new shops, offices or homes should go and what they should look like. Neighbourhood plans cannot be used to restrict development and cannot promote less development than set out in our existing development plan.

Community involvement is a very important part of the plan preparation. At various stages of preparing a plan there will be opportunities for people (not just local) to make comments on what is proposed for inclusion in the plan. For us to use the plan, a referendum will be held and the local community will have an opportunity to vote on whether or not they think it is the right plan for their area.

How do I get involved?

To be involved in preparing a neighbourhood plan you must either live in an area where a town or parish council is seeking to prepare a plan or in an area where there is a designated neighbourhood forum.

We have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions which provides information on neighbourhood development plans and the process of preparing them. It includes useful links to documents and webpages to help with the preparation of the plan and supporting documents. It also includes links to relevant legislation and regulations covering neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood planning support

A good starting point is on My Community Rights website which has information about support for groups developing neighbourhood plans.

Grant payments – up to £9,000 per neighbourhood area to contribute to costs incurred by the group preparing a neighbourhood plan or order.

Technical support – in addition, neighbourhood forums and other groups which are facing complex issues can apply for a further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18. Complex issues include:

  • Neighbourhood forums (where there is no Parish or Town Council)
  • Clusters of parishes
  • High growth areas
  • Deprived areas
  • Business led neighbourhood plans
  • Populations of over 25,000
  • Groups preparing a neighbourhood development order

Contact us

Spatial Policy Group

Planning Services
Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700

01924 306417 / 306495