Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum
Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Neighbourhood planning—independent examination and referendum
  • Brexit impact
  • Context
  • Independent examination
  • Examiner's report
  • Referendum
  • Intervention by the Secretary of State
  • Making and adopting the NDP/NDO
  • Implementation and monitoring
  • Modification of NDP/NDO
  • more

Brexit impact

This content is likely to be impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For further information on the implications of leaving the EU for planning law and practice, see: Brexit—implications for planning law and practice—overview and Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for English and Welsh planning law and practice.


The Localism Act 2011 introduced the concept of neighbourhood planning, which allows communities to shape the development and growth of a local area. As part of the neighbourhood planning process, an independent examination and referendum are required for the completion of:

  1. neighbourhood development plans (NDPs), which allow communities to set out planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood. NDPs form part of the statutory development plan

  2. neighbourhood development orders (NDOs), which grant planning permission in the area, without the need for planning applications

  3. community right to build orders, a type of NDO, which allow certain community organisations to bring forward smaller-scale development on a specific site, without the need for planning permission

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) and Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) set out the procedure for the independent examination and referendum for NDPs and NDOs.

See Practice Notes: Introduction to neighbourhood planning and Preparing a neighbourhood development plan.

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