Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning enables communities to draw up a neighbourhood plan for their area and is intended to give communities more of a say in the development of their local area (within certain limits and parameters).

These plans will be used to decide the future of the places where you live and work giving opportunities to:

  • choose where you want new homes, shops and offices to be built
  • have your say on what new buildings should look like
  • grant planning permission for the new buildings you want to see go ahead.

A neighbourhood plan must go through a specified process before it can be ‘made’ (adopted). This process includes the need for consultation, consideration by an independent examiner and a public referendum.

Once a neighbourhood plan meets all the requirements and has been adopted, it will form part of the development plan for Hart and will be a consideration in the determination of planning applications. 

To see if your town or parish is preparing a neighbourhood plan, please visit our towns and parishes web page

Made ('adopted') neighbourhood plans:

The following neighbourhood plans have been adopted by Hart District Council:


Yateley Town Council has requested Hart District Council to submit its neighbourhood plan for examination. The consultation under Regulation 16 has now closed and all representations received have been forwarded to the appointed examiner.

For further details and links to all the documents please visit the Yateley webpage.

Other advice and guidance on neighbourhood planning

Programme and grants

The Government has set out the programme for neighbourhood planning support for 2018-2022. This offers all groups writing a neighbourhood plan eligibility to apply for a grant of up to £9,000.

Some groups facing more complex issues will be eligible to apply for a further £8,000 in grant and specific packages of direct support where needed. The programme also offers an advice service and a range of online resources provide detailed technical support. Further details are available at the neighbourhood planning's website

Before you apply please talk to Hart District Council about the support that we, or your local Town/Parish Council, may be able to offer.

Supporting documents

Hart District Council has produced the following documents to support the neighbourhood planning process:

Strategic Development Plan policies -  Neighbourhood plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the development plan for Hart.

Setting up a Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group - this note provides guidance on issues to consider when setting up a steering group.

Weight of Neighbourhood Plans - this note provides advice on the weight to be attached to neighbourhood plans at different stages in the preparation process.

Hart District Council Neighbourhood Planning Support - this note sets out the support that Hart District Council can provide to those preparing neighbourhood plans.

The Environment Agency, English Heritage, Forestry Commission and Natural England are the Government's statutory environmental bodies that work to protect and improve the natural, built and historic environment. They have provided the following document to help consider the environment during the neighbourhood planning process:

Planning for the environment at neighbourhood level - this document gives advice on how to prepare a neighbourhood plan that will improve your local environment.

Updating or reviewing a neighbourhood plan

There is no requirement to review or update a neighbourhood plan, but with the adoption of the Hart Local Plan 2032 on 30 April 2020, together with the publication of a revised National Planning Policy Framework in March 2019 communities may wish to think about whether their neighbourhood plan needs reviewing.

Policies in a neighbourhood plan may become out of date, for example if they conflict with policies in the local plan which has been adopted after the making of the neighbourhood plan. If this is the case the more recent plan policy (Hart Local Plan 2032) will take precedence. In addition, where a policy has been in force for a period of time, other material considerations may be given greater weight in planning decisions as the evidence base for the plan policy becomes less robust.

There are 3 types of modification which can be made to a neighbourhood plan. The process will depend on the degree of change which the modification involves:

  • Minor (non-material) modifications to a neighbourhood plan are those which would not materially affect the policies in the plan. These may include correcting errors, such as a reference to a supporting document, and would not require examination or a referendum.
  • Material modifications which do not change the nature of the plan would require examination but not a referendum. This might, for example, entail the addition of a more detailed policy that builds on a pre-existing policy, or the addition of a site or sites which, subject to the decision of the independent examiner, are not so significant or substantial as to change the nature of the plan.
  • Material modifications which do change the nature of the plan would require examination and a referendum. This might, for example, involve allocating significant new sites for development.

Whether modifications change the nature of the plan is a decision for the independent examiner. The examiner will consider the nature of the existing plan, alongside representations and the statements on the matter made by the qualifying body and the local planning authority. Depending on the examiner's conclusion another referendum may be required.

See the Governments' Planning Practice Guidance for further details:

You may also be able to apply for more funding.

Other sources of information: