Neighbourhood Planning

Neighbourhood planning is a process by which communities can come together and prepare plans that will guide the type of developments they wish to see in their local area.

Neighbourhood planning enables parish councils and, in non-parish areas, neighbourhood forums, the opportunity to use tools such as ‘Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP)’ and ‘Neighbourhood Development Orders’ to prepare a spatial plan for their area, in consultation with local residents, businesses and other interested parties.

A NDP should support the strategic development needs set out in the Local Plan and plan positively to support local development.

NDP’s are tools for sustainable development and cannot be used to prevent development in an area – they can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth than is set out in the local authority’s development plan.

Certain procedures and requirements need to be followed in undertaking neighbourhood planning and we have a duty to provide technical and practical support to those that decide to prepare a NDP or Order.

For more information, email

Process of preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan

There are three main stages:

1. Getting established

The first step is to designate the Neighbourhood Area and, where appropriate, set up a Neighbourhood Forum.

The Neighbourhood Area needs to be approved by us, and required to consult on the proposal for  four to six weeks, depending on the type of application.

2. Preparing the plan

This includes building an evidence base and conducting consultations with the local community and developing local partnerships.

This will inform the vision and/or aims of the plan which will then inform the formulation of policies.

3. Bringing the plan into force

The proposed Neighbourhood Plan will be submitted to us.

Providing the plan meets all the requirements the local planning authority will publicise the plan and arrange for an independent examination and public referendum.

For more information on the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan please see the Locality website.

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Development Plans have been made for the following neighbourhood areas:

  • Ashtead
  • Bookham
  • Capel Parish
  • Westcott


We received a proposal on behalf of Ockley Parish Council to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Ockley.

The Neighbourhood Area was designated by the Council on the 22 March 2022, following a six week consultation between 12 January 2022 and 23 February 2022.

Ockley Parish Council has set up a body to help oversee the preparation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan on its behalf – the Ockley Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group.

The proposed Ockley Neighbourhood Development Plan will be prepared by the Steering Group in consultation with its community and while it has to be based on our strategic planning polices, its detailed policies and proposals can reflect the specific issues facing the community.

Once adopted, the Ockley Neighbourhood Development Plan will become part of our Development Local Plan and will be taken into account in the determination of planning applications for proposals in the area covered by the Plan.

Consultation on Charlwood Neighbourhood Area

We have received a proposal from Charlwood Parish Council to prepare an Neighbourhood Development Plan for the settlements of Charlwood and Hookwood.

Before work on preparation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan can formally commence, we are required to agree the proposals that have been submitted for the extent of the neighbourhood area that will be covered by the Plan.

We are therefore seeking views on the neighbourhood area application from Tuesday 7 May 2024 to Wednesday 19 June 2024.

To make a representation on the Charlwood Neighbourhood Plan Area, please either:

  • E-mail us at: or;
  • Send a letter addressed to us at: Planning Policy, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ.

Please consider the Statutory Notice of the Publication of the Charlwood Neighbourhood Area and the Application for the Designation of the Neighbourhood Area before submitting your representation.