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Community Led Planning


Community Led Plans

There are a number of different community led planning routes open to communities who wish to prepare a plan of their own. Community Led Planning can be defined as a step-by-step process that enables everyone to participate in, and contribute to improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of their local area. It gives communities an opportunity to make things happen locally.

There is no requirement to prepare a plan of any sort. If your community is happy with the existing plans for the area then you don’t need to prepare anything more. If you do decide to prepare a community plan it will be important to talk to and listen to the whole of your local community throughout its preparation.  Alongside the community consultation and engagement, other evidence such as studies, statistics and reviews will also be needed to help understand priorities and determine actions that need to be taken to achieve the plan's objectives.

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 (external site, opens new window), 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.

We have produced a simple 1 page guide to Neighbourhood planning on Dartmoor there is also 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

A neighbourhood plan must comply with European and National legislation and must have appropriate regard to national policy and be in conformity with existing strategic local planning policy.  

What makes local plan policy strategic?

DNPA Strategic policies list

Locality’s Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Planning (external website, opens new window) 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 (external website, opens new window) 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 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:

Dartmoor Forest Parish Council, February 2016

Okehampton Town and Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council, April 2015

Bridstowe 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 Community Council of Devon website (external site, opens in new window).

What Next?

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

Page last updated: 08 May 2017
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