View from Lingfield Church

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.

The number of houses that may be allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan won’t all be built at the same time, but spread out over the plan period

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

They can identify the infrastructure required by the community and work towards delivering this

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 Pond


Beacon Field

What's the alternative?

Without a Neighbourhood Plan in place, the current position with Tandridge District not having approved its most recent draft Local Plan, speculative planning applications will come forward on sites in the Green Belt. There is a very strong risk these speculative applications will be allowed by Planning Inspectors as without a current Local Plan in place, Tandridge Council will be expected to meet the housing target set for us by the Government rules on Housing Targets. These speculative applications don’t always provide the infrastructure wanted or needed by the community and can be allowed on sites which are extremely unpopular, like Star Fields.

Lingfield Neighbourhood Plan (LNP) has already identified where development is unsuitable in planning terms (flood risk, Conservation Area, Ecology implication on the Nature Reserves, open views, etc). As part of the ongoing consultation process on sites for Lingfield, which started in 2017, the community has identified where development would be more acceptable and what infrastructure improvements will be needed, if they are delivered. High on the agenda for everyone is the provision of an improved facility for our surgery which has better patient facilities, like patient parking, and pedestrian improvements for safer walking and cycling in and around the village. By agreeing to allocate a very small number of sites in the LNP, it helps prevent any Planning Inspectors allowing speculative applications because Tandridge District can’t provide enough sites. Lingfield could end up losing ALL of its Green Belt on the sites that are already listed by Tandridge Council as deliverable and developable and get a hugely inappropriate amount of housing because the developers want to build here and not anywhere else. . There is huge support from Central Government for communities that have Neighbourhood Plans in place tobe able to control WHERE the development is going to go. It will not, however allow any Neighbourhood Plan to say “NO” to all development.


Timeline May 2023

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

Lingfield Neighbourhood Plan timeline


Open day

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 Oak