Community-led Planning Groups & Neighbourhood Planning Forums

Community-led planning is an approach to gathering the views and ideas of local people in order to find better ways of supporting local needs which has always been at the heart of rural communities for many years. .  Community-led plans look at all aspects of community life including the physical environment but also  health and social welfare services,  access to education, training and employment opportunities, leisure activities, crime and safety, and services for older, younger or disabled people to name but a few. For many years CAN  has provided support to local communities wishing to develop their own plan, drawing on experience and resources gathered together nationally by the ACRE network.  We can offer communities wishing to carry out plans:

  • information resources including a Community Led Planning Toolkit detailing a 9 step approach to carrying out your plan, and  a Community Profile for your area drawing together evidence from a wide range of statistical sources into a single report. 
  • advice and consultancy tailored to your communities needs available at each stage of the process from setting up apropriate governance, through carrying out local consultations, to developing new projects arising out of the plan.


Neighbourhood Planning is a more formal introduced by the Government as part of the Localism Act in 2011, through which local residents can exercise their right to input into planning policies affecting the future development and growth of their neighbourhood  .  Neighbourhood Development plans are concerned primarily with developing the built environment of the neighbourhood, and must be delivered by a Neighbourhood Planning Forum that has received recognition from their local planning authority (ie Northumberland County Council), and follow a process that has been proscribed by the legislation.  

If you wish to carry out a Neighbourhood Plan, you must contact Northumberland County Council in the first instance, and more information is available from the relevent pages on their website which can be accessed here.    However if you feel you need additional or independent support with any aspect of your plan, CAN may be able to help.

For more details of the support CAN can offer with Community-led or Neighbourhood Planning, please call us on 01670 517178, or email us through the form on our contact us page.