Community Planning

Community Led Plans

Community Led Planning is a collective term for the different types of plans that can be prepared by the community for their own area, often at parish level. It gives communities an opportunity to make things happen locally.

There is no requirement to prepare a plan of any sort but it can be a good way for your community to work together to recognise and realise shared aspirations and to drive actions to make your community a better place to live and work. 

Like all plans, community led plans need to be kept up to date and refreshed every 3 -5 years.  The preparation of the plan is only the first stage and most often it is the actions that stem from it that have the greatest community impact.

Neighbourhood Development Plans and Parish Plans are the most popular community-led planning approaches.  

Neighbourhood Plans

A Neighbourhood (Development) Plan enables communities to establish planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. Certain formal steps have to be taken to comply with the legislation contained in the Localism Act 2011 , including independent examination and a local referendum, before the plan can be 'made' or adopted by the Local Planning Authority and used to guide planning decisions.

Follow the links to see a simple one page guide to Neighbourhood planning on Dartmoor and a power point presentation that takes you through the process and considers some of the issues that maybe raised.

Simple guide to neighbourhood planning

Powerpoint presentation of neighbourhood planning

It is important to remember that a neighbourhood plan must comply with European and National legislation and have regard to national policy.  It must also be in general  conformity with existing strategic local planning policy.

What makes local plan policy strategic?

DNPA Strategic policies list

Locality’s Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Planning gives you a short, step by step overview of the neighbourhood planning process.

For those who want more detailed information, Locality’s Neighbourhood Planning Road Map Guide is a comprehensive guide to producing a Neighbourhood Plan. It takes you through the process step by step, from first deciding to join with people from your local community to create a Neighbourhood Plan, to submitting the finished article.

Submitted Applications for Neighbourhood Plan Areas.

View all the requested and designated neighbourhood plan areas on a map

If your community is interested in pursuing a community led plan approach on Dartmoor, then please do contact Jo Rumble, the Communities Officer ( at the Dartmoor National Park Authority, who can advise you on the next steps.

Applications for requests for Neighbourhood Plan areas to be designated have been received from:

Horrabridge Parish Council, June 2017

Bovey Tracey Town Council, June 2017

Dartmoor Forest Parish Council, February 2016

Okehampton Town and Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council, April 2015

Bridestowe and Sourton Parish Council, August 2014

Buckland Monochorum Parish Council, July 2014

Ashburton Town Council, February 2014

Buckfastleigh Town Council, November 2012

Parish Plans

A Parish Plan identifies the features and local characteristics people value, recognises local problems and opportunities and describe how residents want their community to develop, providing an action plan for the parish. It is not limited to looking at spatial or land use planning only, unlike neighbourhood plans.

A Parish Plan does not have to follow a statutory process and can therefore be more flexible in its approach. However, a parish plan must still be produced in accordance with good practice, should be able to show evidence of wide community engagement, involvement and support and be endorsed by the relevant town or parish council.

The National Park’s development plan document (Policy DMD46) states that where a parish plan or village design statement has been prepared and has been endorsed by the town or parish council, the relevant recommendations and/or action plans of such documents will be regarded as material considerations in the determination of local development proposals.

Further information on parish plans can be found on the Devon Communities Together website .

What Next?

If your community is interested in pursuing a community led plan approach on Dartmoor contact Jo Rumble, the Communities Officer (