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 at the final stage of the process. We have been through repeated consultation phases,  including a major Pre-Submission Neighbourhood statutory consultation in 2020. After this our plan was examined by a national examiner,  to ensure that it meets regulatory requirements, known as the Basic Conditions. The examiner’s helpful suggestions have been adopted.

We are now approaching the final stage, the referendum for residents of the plan area. This will take place on 24th November 2022.    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: