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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning gives local communities a say in how development happens in their area. We have a duty to support communities in preparing a neighbourhood plan.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced by the Localism Act 2011, which allows local communities to prepare a plan for their area.

A neighbourhood plan enables communities to establish general planning policies for their areas. This can help determine development, such as where new homes should be built.

Hythe and Dibden Neighbourhood Plan (2019)

Following a referendum in October 2019, we formally decided to adopt the Hythe and Dibden Neighbourhood Plan on 9 December 2019.

New Milton Neighbourhood Plan 

Following a referendum on 6 May 2021, we formally decided to adopted the New Milton Neighbourhood Plan on 21 June 2021.

Find out full details of current neighbourhood plans in progress.


Preparing a neighbourhood plan

Neighbourhood plans will be undertaken by town or parish councils, if they choose to prepare one.

We can support communities by giving advice and assistance to the town or parish council in the preparation of the neighbourhood plan.

For details of the assistance we can offer, download our Neighbourhood Planning Support Protocol below.

Neighbourhood planning support protocol (PDF) [330KB] (opens new window)

We will arrange the independent examination of the neighbourhood plan. We will also organise the referendum that will give the community a final say on whether or not the neighbourhood plan comes into force.

Neighbourhood plan area applications

In order to start the preparation of a neighbourhood plan, a town or parish council must apply to us for the designation of a neighbourhood area.

We will publicise the application, and the public will be invited to comment on the area covered by the proposed designation.

Enquiries from town councils, parish councils or the public about applications can be sent to our Planning and Policy Team via email to

Further information

Contact the Policy and Plans team if you have any questions about neighbourhood planning.


Phone: 023 8028 5345

Guidance on the neighbourhood planning system, including key stages and considerations required, can be found on the GOV.UK website.

General advice and case studies can be found on the Planning Advisory Service website.

Advice about grant funding and project management can be found on the Neighbourhood Planning website.

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