Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood Planning is a part of the planning system and enables local communities to influence new development- including housing- in their area. Community First Oxfordshire believes that communities can produce their own Neighbourhood Plan with support from our team of experienced specialists (which includes planning experts).

Since 2014, we have supported 16 Neighbourhood Planning Groups. This support has ranged from full engagement on all aspects of a NP (project planning, sustainability appraisal, consultation strategies, drafting of NP documentation etc.) to bespoke housing and community surveys. Our service is underpinned by excellent working relationships with the relevant planning authority. The Community First Oxfordshire team recognises the value of working collaboratively with communities, housing organisations, local authority officers and developers.

About NP

About NP

‘A Neighbourhood Development Plan sets out the policies against which planning applications are assessed. Neighbourhood Development Plans will become part of the local development plan for the area, which means that the policies and proposals contained within them will be used in the determination of planning applications, including appeals. It must be stressed that the policies produced cannot block development that is part of the local development plan. What they can do is shape and influence where that development will go and what it will look like’: Royal Town Planning Institute.

A Neighbourhood Plan CAN

  • Decide where and what type of development should happen
  • Promote more development than is set out in a Local Authority’s Local Plan
  • Identify where housing development goes (and what type it should be)
  • Identify additional land for housing, schools, employment or community facilities such a youth centre, village hall or allotments
  • Make provision for businesses to set up or expand their premises
  • Consider transport and access (including issues around roads, cycling, walking and access for disabled people)
  • Restrict certain types of development and change of use, for example to avoid too much of one type of use
  • Set out policies about design of buildings
  • Protect and create open space, nature reserves, sports pitches, play areas, parks and gardens, and the planting of trees
  • Protect important buildings and historic assets such as archaeological remains
  • Promote renewable energy projects, such as solar energy and wind turbines


A Neighbourhood Plan CAN’T…

  • Conflict with the strategic policies in a Local Authority’s Local Plan
  • Prevent development that is included in the Local Plan
  • Reduce the number of houses allocated to the area in a Local Plan
  • Change “Permitted Development Rights” i.e. development that doesn’t require planning permission such as small house extensions, some changes of use and things like satellite dishes and solar panel
  • Introduce traffic calming measures or weight limits
  • Alter the speed limit or traffic signage
  • Tackle anti-social behaviours such as dog fouling or graffiti
  • Set up training programmes or schemes
  • Create rights of access to private land where it does not currently exist
  • Change broadband speed


Also, minerals and waste planning and major road or rail development are not within the scope of a NP.


Community First Oxfordshire has recently supported the following Neighbourhood Plans:


How We Can Help

Community First Oxfordshire would be pleased to help you with your Neighbourhood Plan. Please contact Tom McCulloch or Rachel Riach if you would like to explore options.

Find out more about our CFO Neighbourhood Planning Support Service – January 2019

Community Experience

‘CFO’s advice was sound, encouraging and clear. I have no hesitation in recommending the services of the CFO to any community that is contemplating a Neighbourhood Development Plan.’

Drayton Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

‘CFO’s work in running training workshops to de-mystify the Sustainability Assessment part of the Neighbourhood Plan process proved invaluable.’

Berinsfield Neighbourhood Development Plan Team

‘Working with CFO has been a very positive experience. We have been impressed with the quality of advice we have received and the expertise they have bought to both public meetings and meetings with fellow professionals. We would have no hesitation in recommending CFO to other organisations.’

Long Wittenham Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Related News & Blog Articles View all


By cfo-admin | 10 Jun' 19

  Annual General Meeting This year, CFO will be holding its AGM on Friday 19th July.  It will be held at Heyford Park, ... Read more

Rural Oxfordshire Network (RON) on Rural Transport

By cfo-admin | 7 May' 19

The next Rural Oxfordshire Network Meeting RON) on 11 June 2019 will be concentrating on rural transport. For further details ... Read more

View our Facebook page View our Twitter page