About Neighbourhood Planning

What is it?

Neighbourhood planning is a key part of the Localism Act, providing greater powers to local communities in shaping the development of their area, through preparing planning policies at a local level.  

Who is Involved?

In the Milton Keynes borough, parish and town councils work with the community to lead neighbourhood planning. Milton Keynes Council provides technical support and is responsible for the decisions at key stages of the neighbourhood plan preparation process.

What Does it Cover?

Under the neighbourhood planning system, the community, parish and town councils can agree:

Neighbourhood Development Plans

Creating a vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in the area (e.g. where new homes can be built and what they must look like).

We encourage parishes to seek our advice and support in creating Neighbourhood Development Plans to:

- Ensure they confirm with the strategic policies in Milton Keynes Core Strategy and Plan:MK

- Ensure they plan for the same amount or more development, as set out in the Core Strategy/Plan:MK

- Ensure they meet legal and other requirements

- Reduce the risk of costly and lengthy examinations

- Reduce the risk of uncertain referendums

Neighbourhood Development Orders

Allowing the community to grant certain planning permission (e.g. extensions) without the need to apply.

Community Right to Build

Enabling the community to progress new local developments that meet certain criteria and have community backing in a local referendum.

For further information and guidance on neighbourhood planning see Advice, Support and Guidance and FAQs.

Neighbourhood Planning: Ministerial Statement, 12th December 2016 

On 12th December 2016, the Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell, published a written ministerial statement that has the potential to strengthen neighbourhood plans in areas where the local authority does not have a five-year housing land supply.

The Ministerial Statement  comes into effect immediately, applying to decisions made on planning applications and appeals from 12th December 2016. The statement should be read in conjunction with the National Planning Policy Framework and is a material consideration in relevant planning decisions.

Paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date, and housing applications should be considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

The Statement means that, where a local authority is unable to demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, relevant policies for the supply of housing in a ‘made’ neighbourhood plan (ie one that is part of the development plan), should not be deemed to be ‘out-of-date’ under paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework where all of the following circumstances arise at the time the decision on a planning application is made:

  • The written ministerial statement is less than 2 years old, or the neighbourhood plan has been part of the development plan for 2 years or less;           
  • the neighbourhood plan allocates sites for housing; and 
  • the local planning authority can demonstrate a three-year supply of deliverable housing sites (NB: Milton Keynes Council can currently demonstrate in excess of a three-year housing land supply)

The Statement is a strong indication of the importance that the government places on the role of neighbourhood plans in allocating and delivering sites for housing.

Currently, the Ministerial Statement will apply to the made Neighbourhood Plans in for the Lakes Estate, Newport Pagnell, Walton, Sherington and Castlethorpe although more Neighbourhood Plans that are allocating sites for additional housing are under preparation.

Last Updated: 10 October 2018