Stage 1: Application for designation of a neighbourhood area

Town and parish councils and neighbourhood forums will need to apply to Dorset Council in order to designate a neighbourhood plan area. To do this they can apply in writing with:

  • a map identifying the area to which the application relates
  • a statement explaining why this area 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.

Applications from a neighbourhood forum will require additional information to be submitted. Please contact the community planning team for further details

Applications from a parish council that align with their parish boundary can be approved without delay, more complex applications must be publicised.

Stage 2:  Publicising an area application

Where an area application is received that requires publicising, we will publish on our website:

  • 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.

Stage 3:  Decision on a neighbourhood area application

After the close of the public consultation we will take a report to the next available Cabinet meeting for consideration before issuing a decision on the agreed area.

When deciding on the neighbourhood plan area we will consider the following issues:

  • village or settlement boundaries, which could reflect areas of planned expansion
  • the catchment area for walking to local services such as shops, primary schools, doctors’ surgery, parks or other facilities
  • the area where formal or informal networks of community based groups operate
  • the physical appearance or characteristics of the neighbourhood, for example buildings that may be of a consistent scale or style
  • whether the area forms all or part of a coherent estate either for businesses or residents
  • whether the area is wholly or predominantly a business area
  • whether infrastructure or physical features define a natural boundary, for example a major road or railway line or waterway
  • the natural setting or features in an area
  • size of the population (living and working) in the area

Stage 4:  Publicising a designated neighbourhood area

Once the Council have designated a neighbourhood area we will include it on a map of designated areas

 For more information on neighbourhood plans in progress