Neighbourhood Planning - Application for a Neighbourhood Forum

Where there is no Parish Council, Neighbourhood Forums are the only groups that are legally allowed to produce Neighbourhood Plans.

Groups wishing to be designated as a Neighbourhood Forum must apply to Northampton Borough Council.

Where possible, applications for the designation of a Neighbourhood Forum should be made at the same time as the application to designate the Neighbourhood Area.


A Neighbourhood Forum exists for the purpose of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan or Neighbourhood Development Order, and must seek to improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the area.


A Forum should include at least 21 people. The Forum should include people who live, work, or have business in the area, and must include the locally elected member(s). In residential areas, the Council feels that around 50% of the membership of the Forum should be made up of people who live in the area.

You don't need to be an expert on planning to take part in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan - you just need to know what you like and dislike about your area, and how you would like it to be in the future.


When making an application for the designation of a Neighbourhood Forum, you should include the following information:

  The name of the proposed Neighbourhood Forum
A copy of the written constitution of the proposed Forum - a list of principal members will follow
The contact details of at least one member, to be publicly available
A statement describing how the group meets the requirements of a Neighbourhood Forum

Once an application for a Neighbourhood Forum is submitted, the Council will advertise the application for a minimum of six weeks to allow people to comment 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.


Once received, the Neighbourhood Forum application will be published for a 6 week consultation period. During this time individuals and organisations may submit comments to the Council, details will be posted on this website as they become available.

Neighbourhood Planning - Guidance