Neighbourhood Planning and Protecting Open Spaces

Neighbourhood planning gives communities in England the opportunity and power to set local planning policies. More information about the process can be found in our information sheet. 

Queen’s Crescent Garden, designated as LGS in the Exeter St James neighbourhood plan. Photo: Aylwyn Bowen.

You can shape the place where you live, protect valued open spaces using the Local Green Space Designation and decide what type of development, if any, is needed. Once a referendum has been held, a neighbourhood plan has real weight in the planning system, empowering the inhabitants.

Over 2,400 communities are currently involved in neighbourhood planning and 50 plans have been made following referendums. For further details of case studies and neighbourhood plans click here.

One of the first plans to be made in 2013 enabled the protection and re-generation of Queen’s Crescent Garden, Exeter, Devon.

The Thame, Oxfordshire plan failed to protect land as a local green space and it is now vulnerable to development.

A digger poised to destroy historic grazing land at Thame. The site has been allocated for destruction and development in the town’s neighbourhood plan. Photo: Richard Jeffries

The Felpham plan protects eight acres of local green space in the West Sussex seaside village.

Neighbourhood planning policies must meet certain basic conditions. Full details of these can be found here.

Further guidance on neighbourhood planning can be found in the government’s planning guidance and on the locality website here.

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