Neighbourhood Planning

You can receive grants and support to help you complete your neighbourhood plan.

There are two types of support available in the 2015-2018 programme:

  • Grants of up to £9,000
  • Technical support packages provided by our partner, AECOM, and an additional grant package of £6,000 (bringing the grant ceiling amount available to £15,000).

Changes to the final year of the 2015-2018 programme

There have been two updates to the final of the year of the Neighbourhood Planning programme:

  • Modifying your plan after it has come into force: Groups can now apply for funding to modify their plan, irrespective of whether they have already claimed their full grant allocation of £9,000 (or £15,000 for a priority group).
  • Groups undertaking site assessments and housing site allocations: Groups who are undertaking a site assessment for a site allocation, OR groups who are allocating sites for housing or mixed development can now be considered complex – allowing them to apply for additional support for complex groups (technical support and grants of up to £15,000).

Before apply by completing an Expression of Interest form, please make sure you have read the Neighbourhood Planning Grant and Technical Support Guidance Notes.

Download: Neighbourhood Planning Grant and Technical Support Guidance Notes

Neighbourhood Planning Grants

Amount per grant available

All groups are eligible to apply for total grant funding of up to £9,000 over the three year programme from 2015-18.

When is the application deadline?

Applications for grant for 2017-18 can be submitted from 1 February 2017 until 1 October 2017. Expenditure through a grant must be completed by 31 December 2017.

Examples of what you can use your grant for:

  • Developing a website
  • Training sessions for members of the steering group
  • Help with putting together a project plan
  • Undertaking a household survey
  • Help with developing the evidence base
  • Engaging a planning expert
  • Venue hire, publicity materials, printing and other costs associated with consultation.

Further details on what you can and can’t apply for can be found in our Guidance Notes here.

See what other Neighbourhood Planning groups case studies spent their grant money on and how they budgeted for their neighbourhood plan.

Please do not start the application process until you have read our Guidance Notes thoroughly.

Key information for Neighbourhood Planning Grants:

  • You can only apply for funds that you can spend within six months or before the end of the current financial year, whichever is the earliest
  • You can only apply for between £1,000 and £9,000: If your application is not within this range it will be automatically rejected
  • You cannot apply retrospectively for work that has already taken place
  • You cannot apply for the cost of staff or volunteer’s time, except for specialist consultants.

Modifying neighbourhood plans

Neighbourhood planning groups wishing to modify their plan after it has come into force can apply for financial support like any other neighbourhood planning group via the 2015-18 £22.5m support programme, irrespective of whether they have already claimed their full grant allocation of £9,000 (or £15,000 for a priority group).

For more detail on grants for modifying neighbourhood plans, please contact the My Community Help Centre.

Guidance Notes

Please read the Technical Support and Neighbourhood Planning Grant Guidance carefully before completing the Expression of Interest form (the first stage in the application process).

Neighbourhood Planning Grant and Technical Support Guidance Notes

Apply

Complete an Expression of Interest

To establish what type of support you are eligible for, complete the Expression of Interest form by clicking on the link below and completing the online form.

Once the type of support you are eligible for is determined, you will be sent a link within 12 hours to your nominated email for you to start the online application process.

Your link to the application form will stay live for 30 days, during which time you can revisit it at any time and the inputted information will automatically save.

Lost your application link, or can’t find it in your inbox? Find out how to fix this by reading our FAQs.

Final date for applications

Applications for grant for 2017-18 can be submitted from 1 February 2017 until 1 October 2017. Expenditure through grant must be completed by 31 December 2017.

Click here to complete the Expression of Interest form

Blank application form for Neighbourhood Planning Grant

The application form is also available in a Word document to assist you with the input of your answers into the online form.

Please note: This is a template for your application preparation only.

Please do not submit this form as your application – you must complete the online application form (via the link provided to your personal email).

If you submit this document as an application it will be deemed invalid.

Blank application form for Neighbourhood Planning Grant

Frequently asked questions

Got a question? Here are some of the most frequently asked by applicants to the Neighbourhood Planning Grants programme.

FAQs - Neighbourhood Planning

Additional support for complex groups

Groups facing a range of complex issues are able to apply for further support from the programme.

This support can come in two forms:

  1. Technical support provided by AECOM – there are a range of technical support packages that groups are able to apply for as and when they become needed.
  2. Once you have drawn down the initial basic grant of £9,000, complex groups will also be eligible to apply for a further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.

Groups with complex issues

Groups with 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
  • Groups undertaking a site assessment for site allocation
  • Groups allocating sites for housing or mixed development.

How do I find out if my area is complex?

More detail on what classifies as a ‘complex issues group’ can be found here.

Each time you complete the Expression of Interest form to apply for grants or support, we will determine whether you meet the criteria depending on your response to these questions.

Technical Support

What is Technical Support?

Technical Support is available for groups facing more complex issues developing their neighbourhood plan.

Our partner, AECOM offers independent advice on technical or process issues. It is designed to provide you with information (evidence) and advice (professional judgement) which will help you to:

  • decide your priorities and direction
  • to draft policy
  • avoid legal challenges
  • engage confidently with stakeholders such as developers, councils, local businesses and of course residents, who will have a vote at the end of it all.

Our consultants will work alongside you with a clearly defined brief, helping you to produce documents like design guide, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), evidence review or site assessment. The more substantial pieces of work will last between a few weeks to several months depending on the complexity of your situation.

The team at AECOM are particularly keen to help ambitious groups, from all types of neighbourhoods, who want to really influence how their place grows and changes going into the future.

Current packages of support

These are the current packages of support on offer:

  • Establishing a Neighbourhood Forum
  • Housing Advice and Assessment
  • Heritage and Character Assessment
  • Site options and assessment
  • Urban Design and Masterplanning
  • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
  • Viability of proposals
  • Evidence Base and Policy Reviews
  • Facilitation Support
  • Technical Facilitation
  • Healthcheck prior to examination (delivered by NPIERS).

Full details of these packages are available in the Grant and Technical Support Guidance Notes below.

Download: Neighbourhood Planning Grant and Technical Support Guidance Notes

Apply

Complete an Expression of Interest

To establish what type of support you are eligible for, complete the Expression of Interest form by clicking on the link below and completing the online form.

Once the type of support you are eligible for is determined, you will be sent a link within 12 hours to your nominated email for you to start the online application process.

Your link to the application form will stay live for 30 days, during which time you can revisit it at any time and the inputted information will automatically save.

Lost your application link, or can’t find it in your inbox? Find out how to fix this by reading our FAQs.

Final date for applications

Applications for grant for 2017-18 can be submitted from 1 February 2017 until 1 October 2017. Expenditure through grant must be completed by 31 December 2017.

Click here to complete the Expression of Interest form

Blank application form for Neighbourhood Planning Technical Support

The application form is also available in a Word document to assist you with the input of your answers into the online form.

Please note: This is a template for your application preparation only.

Please do not submit this form as your application – you must complete the online application form (via the link provided to your personal email).

If you submit this document as an application it will be deemed invalid.

Blank application form for Neighbourhood Planning Technical Support

Frequently asked questions

Got a question? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions of applicants for Technical Support under the Neighbourhood Planning programme.

FAQs - Neighbourhood Planning