Actors in Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood planning is a co-produced form of planning where different roles and inputs feature from different partners who, when it goes well act to support and create a  beneficial and useful Neighbourhood Plan.

There are a number of actors typically involved in different ways and performing different roles:

  • Local Authorities – acting to oversee and support the neighbourhood plan process locally. They have a number of legislative duties they have to perform and a “duty to support” groups preparing a neighbourhood plan.
  • Qualifying Bodies – the neighbourhoods (Forums and Parishes) preparing a Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government – national government department with responsibility for Planning, including neighbourhood planning. Formerly called DCLG.
  • Private Consultants – inputting expertise to different parts of the Neighbourhood Plan process.
  • Neighbourhood Plan Examiners – towards the end of the process the Neighbourhood Plan is subject to an independent examination. The appointed examiner will determine whether the Plan fulfils the required quality tests, including whether it meets the ‘basic conditions’.
  • Landowners and  developers – may have an interest in parcels of land within the neighbourhood area and seek to invest in development projects. Some may want to engage with the process by, for example, promoting land or buildings for development.

+ See Chapter 4 in Parker, Salter and Wargent (2018) Neighbourhood Planning in Practice (out Summer 2018) – more on this soon!


For more on the actors typically involved, also see the Planning Aid England support material:

An interesting overview of how to mobilise a community and the people/resources needed is here: