Neighbourhood Planning

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood Planning allows Parish Councils and their communities to decide the future of the places where they live, by having the option to create:

  • Neighbourhood Development Plans 
  • Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDO) 
  • Community Right to Build Order (CRtBO) 

Neighbourhood Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders can be used to add more detail to the policies in the Council’s Local Plan, or cover other aspects appropriate to the aspirations of the community living in the area. 

Neighbourhood Plans are the most popular option prepared by Parish Councils, with support from East Cambridgeshire District Council. Once consulted upon, finalised and deemed to meet certain regulations, they are put to a local referendum of the community. If that referendum is successful, they are then formally ‘made’ part of the Development Plan for East Cambridgeshire and are used by the District Council to determine planning applications.

Advice and Guidance

East Cambridgeshire District Council is here to help Parish Council and their communities prepare a Neighbourhood Plan, Neighbourhood Development Order or a Community Right to Build Order. The Council's Statement of Community Involvement sets out the steps required, and how the Council will assist in Neighbourhood Planning.

For more information, the charity Locality (external link) has produced useful guidance and tool kits, and details how to apply for government funding to help with the costs of Neighbourhood Planning.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the Strategic Planning team:

Tel: 01353 665555


Or write to: Strategic Planning, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EE.

Latest News

Soham Neighbourhood Plan consultation until 13 December 2023.

The Soham Neighbourhood Plan, as prepared by Soham Town Council, has commenced its first consultation stage (consultation closes 13 December 2023). At this early stage of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for Soham, it is the Town Council's responsibility to manage the consultation event and receive comments, For full details, please visit Soham Town Councli's webpage (external link). Please do not send comments to East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Mepal Neighbourhood Plan consultation until 15 December 2023.

The Mepal Neighbourhood Plan, as prepared by Mepal Parish Council, has commenced its final consultation stage (consultation closes 15 December 2023). As this is the final consultation stage, East Cambridgeshire District Council manages the consultation event, and comments should be submitted to East Cambridgeshire District Council, not the Parish Council. For full details, please visit the dedicated Mepal Neighbourhood Plan webpage..

Reach Neighbourhood Plan Examiner's Report Received November 2023.

The Reach Neighbourhood Plan, as prepared by Reach Parish Council, has just finished its final consultation stage (consultation closed 3 August 2023). The Plan will now proceed to an independent examination, and, subject to the outcome of that examination, on to a referendum thereafter. For full details, please visit the dedicated Reach Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

Neighbourhood Planning in East Cambridgeshire

Six Neighbourhood Plans have been formally 'made' by East Cambridgeshire District Council, whilst thirteen parishes are designated Neighbourhood Areas as shown on the Map of Designated Neighbourhood Areas (January 2023) (PDF).

The following table provides a summary of each neighbourhood planning project in the district. For further information, please contact the relevant parish or town council.

Qualifying bodyDate N'hood Area designatedMap of Neighbourhood AreaCurrent StageDate Plan formally 'made'
Sutton Parish Council08 Jan 2015; amended 27 May 2021Sutton Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)

Plan made: see Sutton Neighbourhood Plan.

Review commenced.

30 May 2019
Bottisham Parish Council12 Feb 2016Bottisham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)  
Witchford Parish Council26 Aug 2016; amended 06 Feb 2019Witchford Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)Plan made: see Witchford Neighbourhood Plan21 May 2020
Fordham Parish Council21 Dec 2017Fordham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)18 Dec 2018
Cheveley Parish Council10 Dec 2018Cheveley Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)  
Swaffham Bulbeck Parish Council07 Jan 2019Swaffham Bulbeck Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)Plan made: see Swaffham Bulbeck Neighbourhood Plan21 February 2023
Reach Parish Council18 Feb 2019

Reach Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)

SEA Determination Statement (PDF) published August 2021

Regulation 16 consultation stage, June-August 2023

Examiner's Report received, November 2023

Isleham Parish Council21 Feb 2019Isleham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)Plan made: see Isleham Neighbourhood Plan19 May 2022
Soham Parish Council12 Jun 2019Soham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)  
Haddenham Parish Council06 Aug 2019; amended 10 June 2021Haddenham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)Plan made: see Haddenham and Aldreth Neighbourhood Plan20 October 2022
Mepal Parish Council28 February 2022Mepal Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)Final consultation stage November to December 2023 
Littleport Parish Council3 August 2022Littleport Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)  
Witcham Parish Council9 January 2023Witcham Neighbourhood Area Map (PDF)  

If you require accessible documents please email

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