Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan

The District Council has produced a Guidance Note which sets out the key stages in neighbourhood planning and outlines the assistance the Council will give at each stage.  The Guidance Note is available to download from the table at the bottom of this page. It is hoped that this document will address many of the questions which may arise during the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan.

Who can write a Neighbourhood Plan?

In East Cambridgeshire, Town and Parish Councils are the only organisation who can prepare a Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order for their area, although they are likely to need help from local volunteers.  Community Right to Build Orders may be prepared by a constituted community organisation.

Designating the Neighbourhood Area

The process for producing a Neighbourhood Plan involves first designating the Neighbourhood Area – the area to which the Neighbourhood Plan will cover, such as a parish or village.  The Town or Parish Council should make an application to East Cambs District Council.  To help, an application form can be downloaded, below.

Writing the Plan

Writing the Plan involves consultation with the people who live, work and visit in the area.  The plan should also be based on evidence, such as surveys, statistics and the East Cambs Local Plan.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has recently commenced preparation of a new Local Plan for the district, further details are available on the Local Plan Review page.  The Council has published a briefing note to clarify how Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans fit together in the planning process.  The briefing note is available to download below.

Independent Examination

Once submitted to the District Council, the Plan will be examined by an independent examiner.


If successful at examination, the District Council will arrange a referendum.  People who live in the Neighbourhood Area will be asked to vote on whether the Neighbourhood Plan should be used in determining planning applications in the area.

Document Download
Neighbourhood Planning in East Cambridgeshire: Guidance Note
Neighbourhood Area Application Form (print version)
Neighbourhood Area Application Form (MS Word version)
How Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans Fit Together: Briefing Note

For more information, call the Strategic Planning Team on 01353 665555 or email