Neighbourhood development orders

A Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) grants planning permission for a particular type of development in a neighbourhood area, for example housing or offices. As NDOs can grant planning permission, there is no need for a standard planning application to the local planning authority. The NDO:·        

  • needs to meet some minimum standards, and must be approved by the community before it can come into force      
  • must be passed to the local authority which will check that it has been properly consulted on, and that the development does not need an Environmental Impact Assessment     
  • will be assessed by an independent examiner, who will check that it conforms to national and local planning policies       
  • will be subject to a local referendum, if the examiner approves the order

Who prepares a Neighbourhood Development Order?

An NDO can be prepared by a town or parish council or a neighbourhood forum for a designated neighbourhood area. 

Making the decision to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Order

Once a community has made the decision to progress with an NDO, the first step is for the relevant town or parish council to make an application to the district or borough council to designate a neighbourhood area.

An application form for the designation of a neighbourhood area is currently being developed. Towns and parishes will be given the opportunity to comment on the draft form towards the end of the year.

Community Right to Build Orders

A Community Right to Build Order is a form of NDO that can be used to grant planning permission for small scale development for the benefit of the community, on a specific site or sites within a designated neighbourhood area. Any community organisation can develop a Community Right to Build Order in an area, but the organisation will need to ensure it meets certain legal requirements before it can proceed.

How can we help?

Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will provide support and assistance to any community that wants to produce a Neighbourhood Development Order, but it will not control the process which has to be a community led. Nevertheless, the regulations do require councils to undertake statutory tasks at certain points in the process in order to assist and support the community.

Once a neighbourhood area is designated, each town or parish will be allocated a planning officer to provide one to one support and technical advice to towns and parishes throughout the production of the Neighbourhood Development Order.

Further Information