Last edited 17 Jan 2022

Neighbourhood development order

Neighbourhood development orders are defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as orders '... made by a local planning authority (under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) through which Parish Councils and neighbourhood forums can grant planning permission for a specific development proposal or classes of development.'

The Localism Act, which was introduced in 2011, allows town and parish councils and 'neighbourhood forums’ to have some control over how their neighbourhood develops.

The Act gives neighbourhood forums and town and parish councils two main powers:

Neighbourhood development plans and neighbourhood development orders may be linked as part of a coherent strategy that creates an overall plan and then permits specific developments within that plan.

Neighbourhood development orders may not permit, minerals and waste development, types of development that always need an environmental impact assessment, or nationally significant infrastructure projects.

The local planning authority must agree who should be the neighbourhood forum for an area, and once a plan or order has been developed, will verify that the proper consultation has been carried out and that an environmental impact assessment is not required. An independent person then carries out checks to ensure that:

Neighbourhood development plans or orders can then face a neighbourhood referendum. If there is a majority of support in the referendum, the local planning authority must bring the plans or orders into force.

The Localism Act also allows community organisations to use community right to build orders to allow small-scale development on a specific site. Benefits resulting from such developments stay within the community, and could be used for example to create or maintain local facilities.

Community right to build orders are a type of neighbourhood development order.

Any local community organisation is able to create a community right to build order, provided that the organisation exists to further the economic, environmental and social well-being of the area and that at least half of the organisation’s members live in the area.

As with neighbourhood development orders, community right to build orders are checked by an independent person and are subject to a community referendum.

Community right to build orders are not permitted if the development would need an environmental impact assessment or if they would be on a designated site (such as a site of special scientific interest).

See the article on the Community Right to Build for more information.

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