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Parish plans

This reflects the local vision of how local residents would like to see your area change in coming years. Parish Plans can be much broader than neighbourhood plans, covering more than just planning issues. This optional document is more community-led and can reflect the needs of an individual town or village and surrounding countryside.

While Local and Neighbourhood Plans are the main documents for most areas, other areas of planning policy can have an impact on how your region develops.

Parish Plans give you an opportunity to get involved in planning in your town or village and surrounding countryside.

What is a Parish Plan?

A Parish Plan is a document that tackles important issues that will influence your neighbourhood in the future.

This could be anything from ensuring building projects fit in with local character to supporting alternatives to private car use to improving the state of local parks.

The development of the plan will be led by the town or parish council but must take into account the views of the whole community. It is critical that it is in conformity with the area's Sustainable Community Strategy.

The final plan will identify key facilities and services, set out the problems that need to be tackled and show how distinctive character and features can be conserved.

It will also include an action plan for the area.

Why Parish Plans are important

Parish Plans can be used to make sure local concerns and characteristics are taken into account before any planning decisions are made.

Influence how local services are delivered

Parish Plans are an important tool that can be fed into other plans and strategies such as Local Plans, where the needs of individual towns and villages and their surrounding countryside might not normally be adequately considered.

If you want to make the most effective use of your plan it is important to work with the local planning authority from the beginning.

You could press the local planning authority to adopt the plan as a Supplementary Planning Document that would carry significant weight as a material consideration in the planning decision-making process.

Even if the local planning authority decides not to formally recognise the Parish Plan it can still be used as evidence to inform the Local Plan and to inform responses to planning applications, as long as it has been subject to widespread and effective community involvement.