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

Swaffham Bulbeck Neighbourhood Plan is successful at Referendum on 26 January 2023.

Swaffham Bulbeck Parish Council had its proposed neighbourhood plan examined by an independent Examiner in late summer 2022, whom agreed the plan is suitable to progress to a referendum. That referendum took place on 26 January 2023, where 87% of voters were in favour of the plan. the final plan was formally made part of the Development Plan for East Cambridgeshire on 21 February 2023. To view the plan and other latest news, please visit the Swaffham Bulbeck Neighbourhood Plan page

Designation of Witcham parish area as a 'Neighbourhood Area', 9 January 2023.

Following an application by Witcham Parish Council on 5 January 2023, the parish of Witcham was successfully designated as a 'Neighbourhood Area' on 9 January 2023. Witcham is the thirteenth parish area in East Cambridgeshire to be designated, and paves the way for Witcham Parish Council to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for its area, should it choose to do so.

Designation of Littleport parish area as a 'Neighbourhood Area', 3 August 2022.

Following an application by Littleport Parish Council on 26 July 2022, the parish of Littleport was successfully designated as a 'Neighbourhood Area' on 3 August 2022. Littleport is the twelfth parish area in East Cambridgeshire to be designated, and paves the way for Littleport Parish Council to prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for its area, should it choose to do so.

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).

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.

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 
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)  
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 East Cambs District Council Strategic Planning Team.

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