Toggle mobile menu visibility

Neighbourhood planning advice


Neighbourhood Plans are strategic planning documents. They enable communities to influence the areas they live and work in.

The government introduced them into the town planning system in 2011. Parish or town councils, or neighbourhood forums can produce neighbourhood plans.

The following information and advice is to help you with those parts of your plan that concern county council matters.

We're a stakeholder in the neighbourhood planning process. We provide responses to:

  • Draft Neighbourhood Plan consultations (Regulation 14). Once your neighbourhood plan is at this stage, we become a statutory consultee. You should contact at this stage.
  • Pre-submission Neighbourhood Plan consultations (Regulation 16). At this stage the relevant local planning authority leads the consultation. They'll consult us and other relevant parties.  

We aim to respond to all neighbourhood plan consultations. But we cannot attend all planning events or respond at every stage of the consultation process.

For further information contact the neighbourhood planning coordinator at:

Flooding and drainage

Any new development must have an assessment that gives adequate and appropriate consideration to all sources of flooding and proposed surface water drainage.

Any application made to a local planning authority must show that it would:

  • Not increase the flood risk to the site or wider area.
  • Follow the drainage hierarchy. This is to discharge surface runoff as high up the following drainage options as reasonably practicable (1 being highest and 4 lowest):
  1. To the ground (shallow infiltration)
  2. To a surface water body (eg watercourse)
  3. To a surface water sewer
  4. To a combined sewer
  • Follow the four pillars of sustainable drainage systems. These are water quantity, water quality, biodiversity and amenity.

Sites proposed for allocation through neighbourhood plans should have a robust assessment of the risk of flooding from all sources.

The assessment should follow the principles of the Sequential Test, to steer new development to areas with the lowest risk of flooding. You'll find more advice on our Information for Developers page in the Flood and Water Management section of this website.

The Environment Agency provides surface water flood risk mapping via the Flood Warning Information Service at GOV.UK.

For further information contact

Green infrastructure

If you need green infrastructure information you'll find it in the following locations:

Other documents you may find useful for reference are:

For further information contact

Historic environment

You should consider the historic environment when starting the neighbourhood planning process.

View the Historic England Advice Note on Neighbourhood Planning and the Historic Environment.

The Archaeology and Historic Environment section of our website has information on:

  • Treasure
  • Planning and the historic environment
  • The Historic Environment Record

The Historic Environment Strategy and Advice Team can provide Historic Environment Record data for neighbourhood planning preparation. There are charges for these services.

Email for further information.

Minerals and waste

Minerals extraction and waste management development are outside the scope of neighbourhood plans, but the safeguarding of mineral resources can be relevant to them.

This is in cases where the plan proposes to allocate specific sites of more than one hectare for non-mineral development (such as housing or employment).

As the Minerals and Waste planning authority, we define Mineral Safeguarding Areas within Norfolk. These are areas where mineral resources occur which may be of local, or greater than local, importance.

In Norfolk the Mineral Safeguarding Areas are for:

  • Sand and gravel
  • Carstone
  • Silica sand

Mineral resources are finite and we can only extract them where they occur. We should avoid non-mineral development on these sites.

If you intend to allocate a specific site of more than one hectare for non-mineral development, you'll need to find out if it's underlain by a Mineral Safeguarding Area.

If it is, the site allocation policy in the Neighbourhood Plan will need to include at least a mineral investigation and assessment at the planning application stage.

Prior extraction and/or reuse of mineral within the construction phases may be potential outcomes.

The Norfolk Minerals and Waste Core Strategy DPD (PDF) [2MB] contains the Norfolk Mineral Safeguarding Policy (Policy CS16). A list of exemptions to the mineral safeguarding policy is in Appendix C of the same document.

You may also find the following information useful:

For further information contact the Minerals and Waste Planning Policy team at:


We are the local highway authority. You should consult us on the highway and transport implications of a neighbourhood plan.

Where a plan looks to allocate sites, you must provide enough evidence to show the highway and transport impacts of the plan have been properly considered.

This is particularly important where the plan allocates sites for development. Sites proposed for allocation will need supportive evidence that:

  • It's possible to form a safe access
  • The local highway network, including pedestrian provision, is of a suitable standard for safe, sustainable development

Your evidence should include the adequacy and layout of junctions, road widths and footways, or show that suitable improvements are achievable. You may need to engage technical specialists to provide this evidence.

Our publication Safe, Sustainable Development (PDF) [20MB] sets out the requirements. Local Plans and Parking Standards for Norfolk 2007 (PDF) [486KB] have more information on parking requirements.

We can provide advice on the information you're likely to need, but we cannot do this work as part of our response to the plan-making process. For further advice contact the transport strategy team at

Links to information for your area

Your local district council will have more advice about neighbourhood planning. The following web links will take you to their neighbourhood planning information:

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon