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The planning system helps decide what gets built, where and when. It is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people's quality of life, and protecting the natural environment. The Government's Localism Act introduces new rights and powers for communities and individuals to enable them to get more involved in planning for their areas. One of these introductions is neighbourhood planning.

Neighbourhood planning is a way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work. It will allow communities to come together through a local parish council and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go - and what they should look like.

Specifically the Act sets out proposals around community led planning (Neighbourhood Development Plans) to guide new development and in some cases granting planning permission for certain types of development

Neighbourhood planning will be taken forward by two types of body - town and parish councils or 'neighbourhood forums'. It will be the role of the local planning authority to agree who should be the neighbourhood.

As well as town and Parish Councils it is also important that local communities are aware of Neighbourhood Planning, what it is, what it can mean for them and why they should get involved.

To help aid this understanding and to assist those preparing Neighbourhood Plans we have prepared the Neighbourhood planning protocol

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