Neighbourhood plans were introduced by the 2011 Localism Act. They are the most local and devolved part of the English planning system, and remain relatively unusual in London (Seven neighbourhood plans in different parts of London have had successful referendums and are in force as at mid 2018).
London’s planning system is made up of several layers
- the National Planning Policy Framework (undergoing revision by Government following consultation)
- the London Plan (being reviewed by Mayor Sadiq Khan and due to be examined in public November 2018 to March 2019.)
- the Local Plans of the London Boroughs, and the Local Plans of the two Mayoral Development Corporations (the OPDC and the London Legacy Development Corporation).
- any ‘made’ (adopted) neighbourhood plans. These form part of the statutory development plan for the area in question.
There are now over 500 neighbourhood plans in place across England. The policies in these plans are in daily use by planning officers across the country. Progress on neighbourhood planning has much slower in London than in most rural areas. This is for a range of reasons (see at http://www.neighbourhoodplanners.london/ for more background). Around 100 London neighbourhood forums are working on draft plans as at mid 2018.