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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Localism Act to provide an additional way for communities to engage in the planning process and help shape development in their area. It is a community-led process, distinct from preparation of the Local Plan which residents can engage with in other ways.

​This page provides information on what to do if your neighbourhood would like to set up a neighbourhood forum and what is needed to submit a neighbourhood plan application. Alternatively, to find out how to engage in the Local Plan process please refer to our Local Plan Review and Planning Consultation pages.

Advice on preparing neighbourhood plans

Before you can submit a neighbourhood plan you must set up a neighbourhood area and forum.

A neighbourhood forum must have at least 21 members. Forum members must either live, work, or be an elected local councillor for the area, with membership comprising at least one person from each of these sub groups.

The forum should reflect an area’s demographic profile in terms of age, ethnicity, disability, and gender, and be derived from a spread of addresses across the area (not excessively clustered).
If you are thinking of establishing a neighbourhood forum or plan in you area please get in touch with us at
An application to the Council to set up a neighbourhood forum should be accompanied by:
  • A map of the proposed boundaries
  • Details of membership composition
  • The forum’s adopted constitution, which specifies:
    • the name of the neighbourhood forum / area of benefit
    • the purpose of the neighbourhood forum (this must include “to promote or improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Neighbourhood Area” which is the wording of the Localism Act)
    • working arrangements – including sub groups, partners and their roles
    • the pattern of meetings and details of how decisions will be made
    • details of governance structures – including official positions such as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
    • arrangements for management and financial management
    • details of how declared interests and political conflicts of interest will be recorded and managed
    • membership procedures -  who can become a member and how new members will be dealt with / how membership composition will be kept under review
    • the expected duration of the forum (five years from the date of designation)
    • procedures for altering or amending the constitution
    • how the forum will be dissolved if necessary and what would happen to any funds that had been raised up to that point.
Once all the necessary information is received, the Council will publicise the application for a period of 6 weeks. Following the 6-week invitation for comments, for applications that affect Newham only (i.e. do not cross borough boundaries) the Council will have 13 weeks within which to issue a decision (approve, modify or refuse the application).
Once a neighbourhood area and forum has been established a neighbourhood plan can be produced.

It is the neighbourhood forum’s role to produce a proposed neighbourhood plan which is in keeping with Newham’s adopted Local Plan whilst addressing the development needs of their area. Once ready, the Council will publicise the proposed neighbourhood plan and submit it for a independent examination on behalf of the forum. After it has been examined, the Council will publish the examiner’s report and organise a referendum on the draft plan.

Area and forum application forms


Current area and forum applications

There are currently no area or forum applications.

Approved neighbourhood areas and forums

There are currently no approved area or forum applications.

Adopted neighbourhood plans

There are currently no approved area or forum applications.

Further guidance

The above information is based on protocols approved by Cabinet in January 2017 (available here​). Further guidance will be produced as necessary, with relevant updates made to the Council's Statement of Community Involvement in due course.

Further information about neighbourhood planning is available from:
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