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.

Indicative Housing Number

In July 2018, the Government published its revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This sets out a number of national planning policy guidance changes, in particular, a requirement for Local Authorities to provide an indicative housing figure, if requested, for the preparation of a neighbourhood plan.


On Tuesday 11th December 2018, the Council published a Delegated Decision. This report (PDF, 207KB) and Briefing note (PDF, 333KB) provides guidance to parishes who intend to request an indicative housing number for the preparation of their Neighbourhood Plan. The Council recommends:


“The indicative housing figure for the neighbourhood plan area is 1 home (1). The indicative housing figure is the amount of new homes that a neighbourhood plan should plan for, over and above any existing allocations in the development plan. Neighbourhood plans can allocate land for more homes than the indicative housing figure and are encouraged to do so. This is in the interests of positive planning and where their local needs and circumstances indicate that additional homes would be appropriate.”


(1) The Council’s indicative housing figure is not a maximum figure and in accordance to the NPPF we encourage neighbourhood plans to plan for more homes.

Last Updated: 14 August 2020