Support & Grants

The neighbourhood planning process can be divided up into three stages.

Stages of neighbourhood planning

From the initial planning phases through to a ‘made’ neighbourhood plan, takes anywhere from one to two years or longer, depending on your area and its complexity.

Stage 1: Getting established

The first step for parish/town councils wishing to prepare a neighbourhood plan is to submit their proposed neighbourhood area to the local planning authority for designation.

Stage 2: Preparing the plan

Preparing to write a neighbourhood plan includes publicity, development of local partnerships, community consultation and engagement and the building of an evidence base. This will inform the development of a vision and/or aims for the plan. These in turn will inform the formulation of policy and, where appropriate, site allocations. Community engagement and consultation will be necessary at all stages of the plan-making process.

Stage 3: Bringing the plan into force

The proposed neighbourhood plan will be submitted to the local planning authority, which will check that proper procedures have been followed in its preparation and that any necessary assessments accompany the plan. Following a period of publicity, the local planning authority will arrange for an independent examination. It will also organise the public referendum, subject to the plan meeting legal requirements.

Read more about the process in our Neighbourhood Plan Roadmap

Key resources

These are the key resources to look at when you’re either considering or are involved in neighbourhood planning.

View all our neighbourhood planning resources

Getting grants and support

There are two types of help available in the neighbourhood planning process:


Grants for the 2015-2018 programme for neighbourhood planning groups to help prepare their plan and Neighbourhood Development Orders are now closed. 2018-2022 programme grant support will open no later than 1 April 2018.

Technical Support

If your group meets the criteria to be considered complex (such as being a Neighbourhood Forum, being located in a high growth area or deprived area, populations over 25,000 – see the full list of criteria here), you can also apply for additional support.

  • 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
  • Groups are also eligible to apply for further grant of up to £6,000 giving a total grant ceiling of £15,000 in the period 2015-18.

Closing and final submission dates

The 2015-2018 support programme for Neighbourhood Planning is due to close shortly. Applications will close for:

Grants: 2015-2018 programme grant applications are now closed. 2018-2022 programme grant support will open no later than 1 April 2018.

Technical Support: 2015-2018 programme applications must be received by 5 March 2018. 2018-2022 programme support will open no later than 1 April 2018.

Find out more and apply for technical support