Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Planning allows our Town and Parish Councils to produce Neighbourhood Plans that will be used to determine planning applications in their respective parishes.

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

Neighbourhood Planning enables Town and Parish Councils to prepare, with the community they represent, planning documents for their area. 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.  This can be in a number of ways, including by deciding where new development takes place and what it will look like.

Latest News

Submission of the Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan

Wivelsfield Parish Council has submitted their Neighbourhood Plan and related documents to Lewes District Council under Regulation 15 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.  The Neighbourhood Plan, and other submission documents, are now being made available for a 6 week representation period (Regulation 16) between Monday 8th February and 5pm Monday 21st March 2016.

Further details, including how to make a representation, can be found along with the submission documents and Regulation 16 Public Notice on the Wivelsfield Neighbourhood Plan page.

Seaford Town Council submitted an application for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area. Lewes District Council consulted on the designation between Friday 27 November and 8 January 2016. The Decision Notice, below, confirms that Lewes District Council has designated the entire parish of Seaford as a Neighbourhood Area.

On the 16th July, Lewes District Council adopted (made) its first neighbourhood plan. The Newick Neighbourhood Plan now forms part of the development plan for the district. The Plan can be viewed by going to the Newick Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

A referendum on the Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan was held on the 12 November 2015 where the residents of the parish voted in favour of the Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan being used to help determine planning applications in the neighbourhood area. The neighbourhood plan will now be progressed towards adoption by Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority. Further information can be found on the Ringmer Neighbourhood Plan webpage.

The Hamsey Neighbourhood Plan was recently examined by an independent examiner who determined that the plan met the Basic Conditions, subject to recommended modifications.  A Decision Statement will be published by Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority in due course.  Further information, including the examination documents, can be found on the Hamsey Neighbourhood Plan page. 

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 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

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 01730 811759.