Lingfield Churchyard

So what is a Neighbourhood Plan?

First and foremost, it is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area.

This is a completely new planning tier introduced by the Locality Bill in 2011.

Neighbourhood plans can influence many things including where new developments are built, what they look like, local employment, transport, environmental protection and heritage.

They have proved incredibly popular because for the first time in history local people have been given the right to influence the outcome of planning decisions.


Why bother with a Neighbourhood Plan?

  • We know best about our neighbourhood; we are the local experts. Why let other people decide what happens to where we live?
  • This is our chance to think about what we care about in our local area and what kind of place we want to create.
  • Improve the places we live or work by coming up with a vision for its future
  • Communities have been doing it for thousands of years in one way or another; ancient tribes would have discussed where to put up shelters to best avoid the woolly mammoth – that’s planning.
  • We’ll get to know our neighbours, forge a stronger sense of community and find hidden talents.

Lingfield Garage


Snow scene in Lingfield

What's the alternative?

A parish plan, village design statement or a community action plan are all alternatives.

None carry anything like the weight of a Neighbourhood Plan, thanks to its statutory status.



A Neighbourhood Plan may take up to two years to complete. Here are the key stages and progress of Our Plan.

Lingfield Neighbourhood Plan timeline


Lingfield Marathon fun run

What can a Neighbourhood Plan influence?

  • Sustainable development in the right places
  • Preservation of heritage buildings
  • Greener transport – like better bus routes, cycle lanes, footpaths
  • More places for people, like our orchard
  • Better designed housing that suits the area
  • No large areas of uniform housing
  • New local enterprises, like a cinema or community shop
  • Taking over services such as recycling
  • The quality of street facades
  • A public realm that is not dominated by the car

Public Referendum

Our Neighbourhood Plan, once written, must be approved by an independent examiner. It must then go to a local vote, or referendum.

If the majority of voters - more than 50 per cent – say yes, the plan is said to be ‘made’ and becomes part of the planning framework for our area.

Many Neighbourhood Plans have now been made. The first to pass the referendum was Upper Eden in Cumbria, and nearby Arundel, West Sussex had an overwhelming 90 per cent ‘yes’ vote.

Lingfield Park racecourse