An explanation

A Neighbourhood Plan gives local people the power to agree the shared vision for their area. The plan can set out policies for the development and use of land covered by a Neighbourhood Area, and has formal weight in deciding future planning applications.

Why do we need one?

  • The plan will have statutory status – greater influence over planning decisions
  • More say for residents on specific local issues than in the Local Plan
  • Community-led process not ‘top-down’
  • Helps to place local environmental and conservation issues at the top of the agenda
  • Provides an opportunity to specify which sites will be developed and the housing ‘mix’
  • Encourages dialogue with a range of organisations
  • Can encourage community projects and self-build initiatives.

What area does it cover?

There is no set size for a Neighbourhood Area. Here we have combined two Parishes for our Neighbourhood Plan, because of the close links between the two adjacent villages and many shared issues. Stapleford Parish Council is formally the lead council – called the “qualifying body” – working closely with Great Shelford Parish Council. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is taking the lead on drafting the plan, with the support of both parish councils. (See more under Structure)

The total population of our Neighbourhood Plan area is around 6000 residents (as of 2011 Census figures).

What will the finished plan look like?

Although many villages in South Cambridgeshire are currently in the process of creating their own Neighbourhood Plans (twelve “underway” as of November 2016, see this map), so far none of these are complete and adopted. For a good example of a final, adopted Neighbourhood Plan you may like to look at this one for Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire, which is a larger area than ours (population almost 13,000); or this one for Woodcote in Oxfordshire, which is a rural village smaller than Great Shelford but larger than Stapleford, where the plan was adopted in April 2014.

There are an increasing number of other finished plans out there around the country as time goes on – over 200 Plans have been formally adopted as of July 2016.  If you find an example of things you’d like to include in our Plan, then do let us know.

Find out more

Do read our Process page on this site for more explanation of what will be happening.  For further information from South Cambridgeshire District Council on Neighbourhood Planning, including about the process of creating one, visit:
The links below are comprehensive but easy-to-read guides and maps to the aims and processes of Neighbourhood Planning.  They have been written by the government supported charity, Locality, that provides advice to Parish Councils wishing to make a Neighbourhood Plan.

If you would be interested in getting involved in the Neighbourhood Plan process then please do explore this website, make your own comments on the issues that interest you, and see our Contact page for details of how to get in touch.