Support & Grants

The neighbourhood planning process can be divided up into three stages. For each of these stages, grants and technical support for complex areas are available to help you through this process.

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:


Groups are eligible to apply for total grant funding of up to £9,000 over the programme (2015-18).

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.

Christmas closure

Please note that the final date for applications to be submitted prior to Christmas is Friday 15 December.  Decisions on these applications will be made in January 2018, and you should not commit to any expenditure prior to receiving a grant offer.

The Locality offices are closed between Christmas and New Year, and any applications completed during this time will be received by Locality on Tuesday 2 January and will then be allocated for assessment in line with the guidance notes.


Find out more about applying for a grant or technical support