Neighbourhood Planning - Applying for a Neighbourhood Area

A Neighbourhood Area is the area to which a Neighbourhood Plan applies.

Before you start work on the Plan, either the Parish Council or Neighbourhood Forum must make an application to Northampton Borough Council to formally designate the Neighbourhood Area.

If you are a Parish Council you should consider applying to designate the whole Parish, unless there are good reasons not to.

If you are unsure what the boundary of your neighbourhood should be, a Planning Officer will be able to help you.  It is important that your application includes justified reasons for the area that you have chosen.

In defining the boundary of your Neighbourhood Area, you might like to consider:

The places which could benefit from your plan
The character or identity of your neighbourhood, and where this begins and ends (which could be shaped by the types of buildings in the Neighbourhood or the people within it)
Physical boundaries, such as roads, rivers or areas of open space that form an 'edge' to your Neighbourhood
Administrative boundaries, such as a Parish boundary or electoral ward

In order to be "valid" the application must include:

A map showing the boundary of the Neighbourhood Plan area (including the context of the surrounding area)
A statement explaining why the proposed Neighbourhood Area is appropriate
A statement confirming that the Parish Council or Neighbourhood Forum has the right to apply for designation of the Neighbourhood Area


Once received, the area application will be published for a 6 week consultation period. During this time individuals and organisations may submit comments to the Council.

These comments will be taken into account when making a decision on the application. Over this period you can continue to talk to local residents, groups and businesses to help you to inform your Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood Planning - Guidance