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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning was introduced in the Localism Act 2011. It is an important and powerful tool that gives communities statutory powers to shape how their local areas develop.

A neighbourhood plan is:

  • a community led planning document that sets out planning policies for a neighbourhood area
  • produced by the local community, by the people who know and love the area (with technical support)
  • a part of the statutory Local Plan for Birmingham when ‘made’ and helps to determine planning application decisions for the area
  • expected to be in general conformity with the Local Plan
  • a powerful tool to ensure the local community can shape suitable developments in their area

Neighbourhood planning is a process where communities can come together and prepare plans that will guide the type of development they would like to see in their area.

We have a legal duty to support the process of neighbourhood planning.

Birmingham City Council (BCC) set out our approach to localism in our 2019 policy document "Working Together in Birmingham's Neighbourhoods"

Read the Working Together in Birmingham's Neighbourhoods policy document

BCC teams, including Neighbourhood Development and Support Unit (NDSU) and Planning, work with local communities to help them explore neighbourhood plans as an option in their area. We provide support if they decide to develop a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood Planning Process

  • In the absence of a qualifying body (a Parish Council or a Neighbourhood Council) a new Neighbourhood Forum is formed and applies to the Council be designated as a qualifying body.
  • An area boundary is also designated by the Council.
  • The Neighbourhood Forum will form ideas and proposals to produce a draft neighbourhood plan (with technical support).
  • The draft plan is consulted within the local community and then submitted to the Council for independent examination.
  • The neighbourhood plan is then put to a local referendum, and people on the local electoral register in the plan area can vote on the proposals.
  • If the majority of people vote in favour, the neighbourhood plan is ‘made’.
  • It will then become part of the statutory Local Plan for Birmingham to help determine planning applications and can help deliver regeneration in the area.

If you would like to create a neighbourhood plan for your area

You can find out more about the Neighbourhood Planning process and steps:

If you want to discuss developing a neighbourhood plan in your area further, email us:

Page last updated: 11 March 2024

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