Neighbourhood Planning is an important way for communities to have a real say in how their community is developed. Groups considering undertaking this process will need to weigh the opportunities and benefits against the commitment and resources required to achieve a final plan.
Most communities find that they need help and support along the way, therefore Community Lincs has teamed up with local, Lincoln based, Planning Consultancy OpenPlan to provide a full support service for communities undertaking the Neighbourhood Planning process. We are able to assist groups at all stages of the Neighbourhood Planning process including:

  • deciding if a Neighbourhood Plan is right for your community
  • knowing how to get started
  • helping to engage and consult with the wider community
  • support in gathering relevant evidence
  • Creating a vison and objectives
  • Writing policies
Neighbourhood planning

Community Lincs is a member of Locality

OpenPlan is a Chartered Town Planner

Service Provision

We are able to provide a flexible service supporting the individual needs of your Neighbourhood Planning Group. Whether you are just starting out on the process and need support in developing the initial work plan and raising community awareness or whether you have drawn up a draft written plan and need someone to critically review it we can provide the necessary bespoke support.

Our full range of services includes:

  • Making the decision to undertake a Neighbourhood Plan
  • Review of your project support needs development of a project work-plan
  • Initial awareness raising within the community
  • Face to face community consultation
  • Design and production of surveys and questionnaires
  • Analysis of community responses
  • Regulatory compliance check
  • Review of Landscape / Village Character Appraisal
  • Preparation of Design Guide
  • Liaison with District Council officers
  • Policy writing
  • Preparation of Draft Neighbourhood Plan for consultation

We have delivery partnerships with West Lindsey District Council and North Kesteven District Council plus many individual parish and town councils across Lincolnshire.

To find out more about our consultancy packages please contact Janet Clark on 01529 301962 or email

What Are The Benefits Of Neighbourhood Planning


Neighbourhood Plans present a real opportunity for communities to engage with the issue of development in their locality and allow residents to have an input into the future of their surroundings.

Self Determination

They place a clear emphasis on providing communities with the means to determine the extent and nature of development requirements in their settlements both now and in the future and to have a say on the style and format that any development should take.


Neighbourhood Plans can deal with a wide range of issues (like housing, employment, heritage and transport) or may focus on one or two issues that are of particular importance in a local area.

Eight Steps To Neighbourhood Planning

  • Getting Started Look at the local and national planning policies, decide who to involve and how to involve the wider community.  Involve your planning authority.
  • Identify the Issues What are the strengths and weaknesses of the area?  Start to consult people and refer to your CLP if you have one.
  • Develop a vision and objectives Decide what you want your community to be like in the future and set out how the Neighbourhood Plan could achieve this.
  • Generate options for your draft plan Consider options for the type of development you wish to see and of using land.
  • Independent examination The planning authority will appoint an independent examiner who will ensure the Neighbourhood Plan conforms to with national and local planning policies.
  • Consultation and submission There will need to be public consultation on the draft plan and when any changes have been made to the plan it will need to be submitted to the local planning authority.
  • Preparing a draft Set out policies that will help to achieve you vision
  • Referendum and adoption If it passes examination the local planning authority will arrange a referendum on the Plan.  If over 50 per cent of those voting are in favour of the plan it will be adopted.

What Might Be Included

  • The development of housing and bringing derelict housing back into use
  • Provision for businesses to expand
  • The development of schools, leisure facilities and community centres
  • The design of buildings
  • Protection and creation of open spaces

What To Consider

  • Do we have the skills and resources?
  • Is the authority’s local plan adequate for the development potential in our community?
  • Do we have a Community Led Plan that meets our needs?
  • Would the production of a Community led Plan be more appropriate for our communities requirements?
  • A Neighbourhood Plan will be subject to examination and referendum and then form part of the Local Development Plan.

Is A Neighbourhood Plan Right For Us?

Neighbourhood Plans enable communities to take the lead in producing part of the statutory development plan for the area. These neighbourhood plans if approved must then be used to determine planning applications in a neighbourhood area.

It can represent a serious commitment and any group of people considering preparing a Neighbourhood Plan will need to carefully weigh the opportunities against the time/cost implications and come to a balanced view.


CPRE have produced a booklet that will help communities navigate their way through the neighbourhood planning process.

Download How to shape where you live

The Locality Road Map guide  is for all those involved in or thinking of producing a neighbourhood plan.  The roadmap is a comprehensive guide to producing neighbourhood plans, and a useful navigation tool to help you through the process.

Find the road map and more resources at the locality website