Neighbourhood Planning

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new local tier to the planning system called neighbourhood planning.  The Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012 set out the detailed legislative framework for undertaking neighbourhood plans. The purpose of this new tier of plan making is to empower local people to enable them to shape the areas in which they live. 

Neighbourhood Planning enables Town and Parish Councils to prepare, with the community they represent, planning documents for their area. Neighbourhood Development Plans set planning policies that will be used to determine planning applications in their respective parishes. Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders grant planning  permission for specific development which complies with the order.

Latest News

Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan - Adoption

The Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan was recently 'made' by Lewes District Council (7 December 2016) following a recommendation from Cabinet (16 November 2016).  Further information can be found on Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan page.

Adopted Neighbourhood Plans

There are four adopted neighbourhood plans in Lewes District at Newick (adopted on 16 July 2015), Ringmer (adopted on 25 February 2016), Hamsey (adopted on 21 July 2016) and Wivelsfield (7 December 2016). Further information, including the adopted neighbourhood plans, can be found at the links below:

Newick Neighbourhood Plan

Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan

Hamsey Neighbourhood Plan

Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan

Which Authority?

Local authorities have a legal duty to support and advise those communities undertaking neighbourhood planning.  Lewes District has two planning authorities, Lewes District Council and South Downs National Park Authority.

For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes wholly outside of the National Park, Lewes District Council are the relevant planning authority.  For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes wholly within the National Park, South Downs National Park Authority are the relevant planning authority.  For neighbourhood plans being prepared in parishes within both planning authorities, support will be given by the planning authority where the main centre of the population is.

Neighbourhood Area Applications

As part of the Neighbourhood Planning Process, Town and Parish Councils are required to apply to designate the area that they wish to produce a plan or an order for.

There are currently no Neighbourhood Area consultations currently taking place. 

Designated Areas

The Parishes where a Neighbourhood Area has been designated has been found below:

Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning

Frequently asked questions and guidance can be found below:

Resourcing Neighbourhood Planning

A main concern that Town and Parish Councils have in regard to producing a neighbourhood plan, relates to the resourcing (both in terms of money and time) of the project.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who are responsible for introducing neighbourhood planning, is funding a ‘Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning’ programme which is being lead by Locality, a nationwide network of community enterprises, in association with key partners such as the Royal Town Planning Institute.  The support will be provided in two ways:

1. Direct support – advice and support, tailored to meet the needs of the Town/Parish Council producing the plan.
2. Grant payments – up to £7,000 per neighbourhood area, to contribute to costs incurred by the Town/Parish Council preparing a neighbourhood plan or order.

More information on these forms of support is available on My Community Locality's website

DCLG regularly publish an information leaflet which gives information on what is happening at a national level regarding neighbourhood planning.  The leaflet also provides details on events that DCLG organises in order to help communities produce their own neighbourhood plans.  Notes on Neighbourhood Planning.

Who to Contact?

If you are interested in neighbourhood planning, or are representing a Town or Parish Council that is considering producing a Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order in an area where Lewes District Council is the relevant planning authority, please contact us at or by calling us on 01273 484417.

If you are interested in a Neighbourhood Plan where the South Downs National Park Authority is the relevant planning authority, please contact Amy Tyler-Jones at or by calling 0173 081 1759.