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Neighbourhood Areas - How to Apply

Neighbourhood Areas - How to Apply

What is a Neighbourhood Area?

A Neighbourhood Area is the area to which the policies in a future Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order will apply.

Who can apply?

Neighbourhood Plans must be prepared by a ‘qualifying body’.  This will be either a Parish or Town Council if there is one for the area.  In non-parished areas, a neighbourhood forum will need to be formed and approved by the Local Planning Authority.

What must the application include?

All applications should include:

  • An Ordnance Survey map of the proposed neighbourhood area.  (If the proposed neighbourhood area crosses the National Park boundary, the map must clearly show the boundary or identify the area which is within the National Park.)
  • A statement explaining why the area is appropriate. This should be short, clear and address why it is an appropriate unit for planning matters. It could also include a description of how the area was chosen.
  • A statement that the organisation or body making the application is a ‘relevant body’ (i.e. the body or organisation making the application is a parish council).

Applications for the designation of a neighbourhood area wholly or partly* within the National Park should be sent to:

Neighbourhood Planning, South Downs National Park Authority, South Downs Centre, North Street, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 9DH

*Where proposed neighbourhood areas cover more than one local planning authority area, the application must be made to each LPA who will work together on the next steps to be taken.

How will the application be publicised and the designation made?

If your application is for a neighbourhood area which is the same as the parish boundary then we can designate the area immediately.

If the area differs from the parish boundary it will need to be publicised for 4 weeks to allow people to make representations.

All designations are publicised on our website and your approved neighbourhood area will be included on our map of all the designated- neighbourhood areas.

The statutory requirements

The full procedure for preparing Neighbourhood Plans is set out in the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. The Localism Act also sets out a number of requirements for the neighbourhood planning process.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."