What is a Neighbourhood Plan? < BACK

Neighbourhood Plans were introduced by the 2011 Localism Act. They give local communities the power to shape future development in their locality, by allowing residents, employees and business to come together through a local parish council and say where they think new houses, businesses and shops should go - and what they should look like.


A Neighbourhood Plan (NP) must be community-led and evidence-based.

The process of drawing up the NP must involve the local community and reflect the community's needs and wishes for the future. Proportionate, robust evidence should support the choices made in the NP and the approach taken.

In line with national and local planning policy

A Neighbourhood Plan must be in line with national planning policy and with the strategic vision for planning set by the local planning authority - in our case Waverley Borough Council.

Waverley BC's final Local Plan for 2013 - 2031 is still out for consultation and not yet in place. And under national planning policies there is an overarching presumption in favour of sustainable development.

Community referendum

If an NP passes these national and local planning policy tests, the local community will be able to vote on it in a referendum. With majority approval, the Neighbourhood Plan comes into force as part of the statutory development plan for Waverley.

What's the point of a Neighbourhood Plan?

With a Neighbourhood Plan in place, a community can set its own planning policies within the framework of the wider Local Plan set by the local planning authority. An NP for Ewhurst & Ellens Green will allow us to say ‘Yes’ to sustainable development that’s in keeping with the parish’s character and best meets our needs.

Stronger voice

Decisions on planning applications will be made using both Waverley’s Local Plan and our Neighbourhood Plan. That will give us a stronger voice in shaping the future of our parish than with no Neighbourhood Plan.

More control

A Neighbourhood Plan for Ewhurst & Ellens Green will also allow us to specify the type and style of housing and other development we need, and to identify local sites where it could be built. More on Neighbourhood Planning here.