Advice, support and guidance

Neighbourhood planning is a key part of the Localism Act. It gives local communities greater power to shape development by having a direct role in the development of planning policies at a local level.

Within Herefordshire, neighbourhood planning can only be undertaken by town and parish councils, with Herefordshire Council providing technical support and assistance and making necessary decisions at key stages.

Parishes can seek to prepare the following:

Neighbourhood Development Plan

Producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan provides an exciting opportunity for communities to become directly involved in planning policy. A plan allows the local community to create a vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in a neighbourhood. For example, where new homes and businesses can be built and what they should look like.

Neighbourhood Development Plans can be general or more detailed, depending on what is important to local people. They must however, conform with the strategic policies in the Core Strategy and should not be used to promote a lower level of development.

We have produced a set of guidance notes to assist you with each of the different stages and elements of producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan for your area. These documents are copyright of Herefordshire Council, please contact the neighbourhood planning team if you wish to reuse any of them in whole or part.

View the Neighbourhood Development Plan guidance documents

We also encourage parishes to seek advice and support from us early in the development of their plan.

This can help:

  • Ensure the plan meets legal and other requirements
  • Reduce the risk of costly and lengthy examinations
  • Reduce the risk of uncertain referendums

Neighbourhood Development Order

A Neighbourhood Development Order allows a community to grant planning permission for development they want to see go ahead in a neighbourhood. For example, it enables them to allow certain developments, such as extensions to houses, to be built without the need to apply for planning permission.

We have produced a set of guidance notes to assist you with each of the different stages and elements of producing a Neighbourhood Development Plan for your area. These documents are copyright of Herefordshire Council, please contact the neighbourhood planning team if you wish to reuse any of them in whole or part.

View the Neighbourhood Development Order guidance documents

Community Right to Build Order

The Community Right to Build enables community organisations to progress new local developments without the need to go through the normal planning application process, as long as the proposals meet certain criteria and there is community backing in a local referendum.

Find out more about Community Right to Build Orders


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Once a Neighbourhood Area is designated for your parish you will be allocated a planning officer from the Neighbourhood Planning team to provide one to one support and technical advice throughout the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.

We have developed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for any parish undertaking neighbourhood planning.

View a sample Service Level Agreement

The purpose of this Agreement is to:

  • Confirm how Herefordshire Council will undertake its statutory duties including timescales for responses
  • Confirm the level and extent of the technical advice and guidance that Herefordshire Council will provide
  • Confirm how the Parish Council will aim to progress the Neighbourhood Development Plan

Parishes will be offered the opportunity to sign the SLA following the designation of their Neighbourhood Area. A signed agreement will give certainty and commitment to the Neighbourhood Development Plan from both parties but it is not compulsory for parishes to sign up.


Where to find evidence base information

Neighbourhood Development Plans should be based on proper understanding of the local issues and effective community engagement. Therefore finding robust information is an important element of developing your Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The evidence and information needs to be proportionate to the scope and detail of the plan.

A wealth of information already exists which may assist parishes working on their Neighbourhood Development Plan. The Neighbourhood Planning team are able to assist and direct parishes to existing information sources or advise on the best way of obtaining any additional data required. 

Demographics and statistics

To obtain a variety of socio-economic facts and figures visit Facts and Figures about Herefordshire. This website contains details on population and demographics, levels of economic activity or deprivation, health and wellbeing, transport, level of services and much more including Census 2011 data.

Area profiles

You can also find specific area profiles on the About your area page of the Facts and Figures website. Some information can be at either ward or parish level. 

Core Strategy

The evidence base used to produce the Core Strategy may contain some information on topics such as housing, employment, transport, retail, conservation and recreation.

Housing needs surveys

A number of housing needs surveys have been undertaken, these will give some useful information regarding housing need requirements within parishes.