What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Through new powers introduced in 2011 by the Localism Act, communities are able to produce Neighbourhood Plans for their areas which set locally-distinctive planning policies to be used to determine planning applications in a given area.

A neighbourhood plan can address locally important issues, and must be produced through extensive consultation and engagement with the local community. A neighbourhood plan, once made, will become part of the statutory development plan for Leeds, and will be used by the Council to inform decisions made on planning applications in Headingley. A neighbourhood plan cannot stop development from taking place, but it can shape development so that it is appropriate to the local area and reflects local needs and aspirations.

The Headingley Neighbourhood Plan is currently in the early stages of the process. At present, we are seeking to ensure that we are accurately capturing the views of local stakeholders, which include local residents, businesses and other partners. Once this we have accumulated substantial local evidence, the Forum will begin to draft a Plan for Headingley.

We will then draft a formal consultation document, called a Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan. This will be the subject of a formal 6 week consultation period where we will invite comments from local residents and businesses, but also from a wider group of stakeholders such as local service providers and statutory bodies. After this, we will refine the draft Plan and submit it to Leeds City Council.

A neighbourhood plan must be examined by an independent examiner to ensure that it meets regulatory requirements, known as the Basic Conditions. If the Plan successfully passes the examination, it will then come back to the community for a local referendum. The referendum will pose the question:

“Do you want Leeds City Council to use the Headingley Neighbourhood Plan to help it determine planning applications in the Headingley Neighbourhood Area?”

If more than 50% of those voting vote in favour of the Plan, it will be formally made by the Council and become a statutory planning document. It will then be up to the Forum and the local community to monitor the implementation of the Plan and to work towards other projects that have been identified in our Plan.

Below is a diagram to show how the Headingley Neighbourhood Plan fits into the wider planning system:

Links to national guidance: