Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning allows communities (residents, employees, businesses) to come together through a 'Neighbourhood Forum' and produce a neighbourhood development plan.


The Localism Act 2011 seeks to empower communities to shape and manage development in their local areas, as long as they comply with national policies and conform to the local strategic policies.

Neighbourhood planning allows communities (residents, employees, businesses) to come together through a 'Neighbourhood Forum' and produce a neighbourhood development plan.

Neighbourhood planning in Richmond borough

We are at an advanced stage in the production of a range of local planning documents, which provide policies and guidance at both a borough-wide and a neighbourhood scale. We submitted our Local Plan (pdf, 19 MB) to the Secretary of State on 19 May 2017, which updates the Core Strategy and the Development Management Plan, as well as identifying a number of site allocations for important development opportunities in the borough. The Twickenham Area Action Plan, adopted on 2 July 2013, provides additional policies covering Twickenham town centre, and should be read in conjunction with the Local Plan.

We have also produced extensive supplementary planning documents, including Village Planning Guidance for each of the 14 village areas within the borough, with the exception of Ham and Petersham which is in the process of producing a neighbourhood plan. These are based on feedback received from the community after extensive consultation, and identify the key features and characteristics of the area, including those aspects most valued by communities. There are also conservation area studies covering many parts of the borough. 

In view of this, we encourage community groups to carefully consider what else a neighbourhood development plan could beneficially achieve for their area before starting a formal neighbourhood planning process.

Neighbourhood Planning Protocol

We published an updated Neighbourhood Planning Protocol(pdf, 3646KB) in February 2014, which outlines our role in neighbourhood planning. It provides a general overview and advice on the neighbourhood planning process and ensures there is a coordinated approach, including clarity and transparency for local communities.

Requirements for neighbourhood plans

A neighbourhood development plan or neighbourhood development order must be in line with national policies and in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority.

Neighbourhood plans will not be able to prevent development in a neighbourhood – they can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth than is set out in the local authority’s development plan, regional and national guidance.

Provided that all the conditions are met, local people will be able to vote on the plan in a referendum. If the plan is approved by a majority of those who vote, then the local authority will bring it into force.

If you want to find out more about neighbourhood plans, please see our Frequently Asked Questions on neighbourhood plans and the Neighbourhood Planning Protocol(pdf, 3646KB).

Neighbourhood plans in production

On 16 January 2014, we approved the designation of the Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum and Area.

The Forum has produced a draft Neighbourhood Plan, which they submitted to us on 14 September 2017. The draft Plan was subject to a public consultation from 6 December 2017 to 26 January 2018. 

View more information on the Ham and Petersham Forum and its Plan.

Updated: 2 March 2018