Neighbourhood plans were introduced by the 2011 Localism Act. They are the most local and devolved part of the English planning system. Neighbourhood planning was slower to take off in London than in rural areas, but more plans are now reaching the satge of being ‘made’ (i.e. adopted as part of the statutory Development Plan for the London Borough in question)
12 Neighbourhood Plans in London are in force as at January 2019. See at www.neighbourhood planners.london for the latest information.
London’s planning system is made up of several layers of planning policies:
- the National Planning Policy Framework (first published in 2012 and revised in 2018)
- the London Plan (reviewed by Mayor Sadiq Khan and being ‘examined in public’ January 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.
Planning applications in a neighbourhood area are assessed against the policies and site allocations set out in all four of these layers of the system.
There are now over 600 neighbourhood plans in place across England. These are in daily use by planning officers across the country and neighbourhood planning has become a well established part of the planning system.