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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

Neighbourhood Area Designations - West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland

The neighbourhood area needs to be agreed by the local planning authority before the plan can be submitted for examination.

Applications received to designate neighbourhood areas

Once the application is received we will published the submitted information on our website showing:

  • a copy of the area application
  • details of how to make representations
  • the date by which representations must be received

The application may also be advertised locally on parish and town council notice boards and website to ensure that it is brought to the attention of people who live, work or conduct business in the area.

You can comment of any of the applications above by sending your comments to

When deciding on the Neighbourhood Plan Area we will consider the following issues:

  • does the boundary follow existing Parish/Town boundary lines (if applicable)?
  • is there a significant level of business operating within the area (such as major industrial estate or town centre) where a Business District Area might be more appropriate?
  • does the area overlap with an existing Neighbourhood Plan area?
  • does the proposed area function as a relatively self contained neighbourhood unit without relying on a much wider population or facilities in a neighbouring area?
  • are there any local plan allocations (including defined development boundaries) that extend beyond the proposed area?
  • any other issues considered relevant to the designation of the area?

Applications received to designate neighbourhood areas and forum

In areas where there is no parish council, organisations can apply to be designated as the neighbourhood forum for an areas, normally alongside an application for a neighbourhood area. Any application must include:

  • the name of the proposed neighbourhood forum
  • a copy of its written constitution
  • the name of, and map showing, the area to which the application relates
  • contact details of at least one member that can be made public
  • a statement explaining how the forum would meet the required conditions (the forum must comprise of at least 21 people, remain open to new members who live or work in the area or are councillors for the area, and must be about promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the neighbourhood area)
AreaApplication DocumentConstitutionTerms of ReferenceConsultation DeadlineContact
There are currently no applications to designate neighbourhood areas and forums






In designating the forum, the council must consider whether it complies with the legal requirements and whether:

  1. reasonable steps have been taken to secure membership that includes at least one person who lives in the area, one person who works in the area, and a local councillor for the area,
  2. reasonable steps have been taken to draw people from different places in the area and different sections of the community,
  3. the forum's purposes reflect the character of the area

Once designated, the forum will remain designated for five years, unless withdrawn by the council either at the request of the forum, or because the forum no longer meets the above conditions relating to its membership or purpose.

Applying for the designation of neighbourhood areas and forums

It makes sense that this decision is taken relatively early in the process to minimise the risk of planning for an area that may not be approved. 

Parish boundaries are considered to be potentially sensible boundaries for a neighbourhood plan area. However there will be circumstances where a smaller or larger area may make more sense, for example where there are common or cross-boundary issues to address. Neighbourhood plan areas cannot overlap - so you will need to check that your area isn't already covered by a designated neighbourhood plan area.

In areas where there is no parish council, organisations can apply to be designated as the neighbourhood forum for an area, normally alongside an application for a neighbourhood area. For further information on setting up a neighbourhood forum please contact the Spatial Policy team.

Town and Parish Councils and Neighbourhood forums will need to apply to the council in order to designate a neighbourhood plan area. To do this they can complete the online application form or apply in writing with:

  • a map identifying the area to which the application relates
  • a statement explaining why this is considered appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area
  • a statement that the organisation or body making the area application is a relevant body. A relevant body is described as a parish council, or a neighbourhood forum as described in Section 61G of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act

Once the Council have designated a neighbourhood area we will include them on a map, which will show all the neighbourhood area designated across the area. If a designation is made no other organisation or body may be designated for that neighbourhood area until that designation expires or is withdrawn. More information on designated neighbourhood areas currently preparing neighbourhood plans is available.

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