Neighbourhood Planning

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning is a new and exciting planning initiative aimed at giving local communities greater power to shape development in their particular areas.  It involves local people getting together and producing a specific plan for their area containing detailed policies that will become, alongside the District Council’s Local Plan, part of the legal plan for their community which is then used in the consideration of planning applications.

In Ribble Valley neighbourhood planning is undertaken by parish or town councils, with Ribble Valley Borough Council providing technical support and assistance and, at certain points in the legal process, making certain decisions.  However the plan is for the local community to bring together and there are government funds available for them to bring in specialist consultancy advice.

A neighbourhood plan allows the community to create a vision and planning policies for the use of land, for instance where new homes and businesses can be built and what they should look like, and   reflecting the particular issues that individual places have. They have to take account of other plans and should not be used to promote a lower level of development than set out in those plans.

Want to find out more?

If you are interested and want to find out more then please go to the links below:

Locality: Neighbourhood planning

This is a specialist advisory group set up to provide advice to communities wanting to put together a neighbourhood plan.

GOV.UK: Neighbourhood planning

This takes you to the government’s official outline of neighbourhood planning and some of the detail of the process.

We also offer information briefings to parishes interested in making a neighbourhood plan which explain the process and explore what is involved.

You can contact us through the Ribble Valley neighbourhood planning team on 01200 425111 or email

Neighbourhood planning in Ribble Valley

If a parish or town council wishes to prepare a neighbourhood plan, it must submit an application to designate the area to Ribble Valley Council, which is the local planning authority. Ribble Valley will then publicise the area and invite comments from people who live, work and carry out business in the proposed neighbourhood area. Following this period of consultation any comments received will be considered by Ribble Valley Council who would, subject to relevant legal tests, then formally designate the neighbourhood area the forthcoming plan will relate to.

Evidence Base

Neighbourhood Development Plans should be based on proper understanding of the local issues and effective community engagement. Therefore finding robust information will be an important element of developing your Neighbourhood Development Plan.

The evidence and information needs to be proportionate to the scope and detail of the plan.

A wealth of information already exists which was prepared as part of the Core Strategy, this may assist parishes working on their Neighbourhood Development Plan.  

Consultations on applications to designate a Neighbourhood Area

For further information on Submitted Neighbourhood Areas.

Neighbourhood Areas designated

Bolton by Bowland and Gisburn Forest

Following consideration of the Examiners Report the Bolton-by-Bowland and Gisburn Forest Neighbourhood Plan was formally withdrawn by the Parish Council on 8 November 2017. The withdrawal letters and statement can be viewed below.



Regulation 14 Submissions

Bolton by Bowland and Gisburn Forest consultation on the draft 19 January 2015 – 1 March 2015

Regulation 16 Submissions

Bolton by Bowland and Gisburn Forest Plan - This consultation closed on 4 January 2017 but documents are available to view.

Longridge Neighbourhood Plan - The Regulation 16 version Longridge Neighbourhood Plan public consultation is open from Friday 9 February to 5pm on Friday 23 March 2018. Consultation material can be viewed at the Longridge Neighbourhood Plan supporting documents.  This consultation is now closed.  To view the Examiner's Report please refer to the Longridge links above.