Planning Help Menu

Improve where you live


Step 8: Referendum and adoption

Your finished plan myst be accepted by a majority of votes in your area before it can be adopted.


Assuming that the examiner recommends that your draft Neighbourhood Plan can proceed then your local planning authority will organise and pay for a referendum.  The rules for the referendum are set out in the Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations.  The question that the referendum has to ask is:  "Do you want [insert name of local planning authority] to use the neighbourhood plan for [insert name of neighbourhood plan area] to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Anybody registered to vote in the area covered by your Neighbourhood Plan will be entitled to vote. A simple majority of votes (over 50% of those voting) in favour of your Neighbourhood Plan is sufficient for it to succeed.

The only exception is in Business Areas where two separate referenda will be held in parallel. The first will be for residents and a second referendum will be held for businesses (or more specifically non-domestic rate payers). Each business will have one vote. In this instance the outcome of the business and residents' referenda will be considered separately. If both are in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan it will be adopted. If both reject the Neighbourhood Plan it won't be adopted. Where the two outcomes conflict with each other the decision about whether or not to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan will rest with the local planning authority.



If more than 50% of people voting in a local referendum support the Neighbourhood Plan, it will be adopted

Assuming a simple majority is achieved, your local planning authority will adopt your Neighbourhood Plan as part of the development plan. This may include policies in your Neighbourhood Plan taking precedence over policies in the Local Plan, where they apply to the specific area covered by your Neighbourhood Plan.

The local planning authority will publish the Neighbourhood Plan on its website and tell those who commented on the proposed Neighbourhood Plan. A hard copy may also be made available in the public library.

Implementation and monitoring

Once your Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted, planning applications will still be determined by the local planning authority in the normal way, but taking into account policies in your Neighbourhood Plan as well as the Local Plan.

Development granted permission by an adopted Neighbourhood Development Order or a Community Right to Build Order may be implemented. The developer will have to submit their proposals to the appropriate local authority or parish council, however, who will make sure that they are in line with the permission granted by the Neighbourhood Development Order.

You may wish to monitor progress against your Neighbourhood Plan. This will help to ensure that momentum is not lost, and that the aspirations of the community are met. You may want to review your Neighbourhood Plan to keep it up-to-date and relevant.

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. If that's okay, just continue browsing - or see our cookies policy for ways to opt out.