Community planning: Neighbourhood planning UK
Localism Act
Plans and Policy

Neighbourhood Plans and the hierarchy of plans and policy

All development proposals which communities include in their Neighbourhood Plan must comply with local plans, known as Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Local plans

The Local Development Framework (LDF) is the collection of local development documents produced by the local planning authority which sets out the spatial planning strategy for its area. All LDFs have to comply with the NPPF.

Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs) are part of the LDF. They have to be consistent with the overall plan for the local authority, known as the Core Strategy. So Neighbourhood Plans cannot propose less growth than is proposed in the Core Strategy (thus not a vehicle for NIMBYism). But they can propose a higher level of growth and when a Neighbourhood Plan is approved by referendum this higher level will be incorporated in the LDF.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

In parallel with the new legislation, the government has condensed all 1,000 pages of national guidance to local planning authorities (in 47 documents) into one 65 page document. The key issue is that Neighbourhood Plans (like all other Development Plan Documents) are required to contribute to achieving ‘sustainable development’.

Draft National Planning Policy Framework
National Planning Policy Framework, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-4098-3413-7
download pdf

Pre-Localism planning

Housing UK

Toolkit on community involvement in UK housing and planning
go to web page

The planning system prior to the reforms introduced by the Coalition Government is covered in this archive.

Planning Policy Statement 12

Planning Policy Statement 12: creating strong safe and prosperous communities through Local Spatial Planning, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2008
download pdf

Outlines the English planning system prior to April 2012 when the changes introduced by the Localism Act came into effect.


This page partly funded by the Department for Communities and
Local Government, 2011.


Nick Wates Associates

Last updated on:12 November 2012