Chelmsford City Council

Neighbourhood Plans and Village Design Statements

Town and parish councils, or other organisations, can take the lead in creating neighbourhood development plans, community plans and orders for planning in their area. We will help to create the plans, and make decisions at key stages.

Neighbourhood development plans, and other community plans or orders can become part of the Local Plan, with equal legal status. Before we can adopt the plan or order, a local referendum needs to take place to agree it.

A neighbourhood development plan is a planning document which sets out policies for development and use of land in a neighbourhood. They are normally known as neighbourhood plans. The plans can include the location of new homes and offices, and what they should look like.

If you want to develop a plan or statement, you can contact us to discuss which option would be best for your area.

Locality offers a wide range of information about the process and grant funding options, including toolkits, case studies, and a forum.

You can also look at our Statement of Community Involvement to find out how local communities can get involved in planning.

There are currently eight neighbourhood plans in development in the Chelmsford area. You can view the application and map for each one and also visit their websites.

Plans at referendum stage

You can find more about the South Woodham Ferrers Neighbourhood Plan Examination.


We held a referendum on the Writtle neighbourhood plan on Thursday 21 October 2021. The result was 93% of the votes cast were in favour of us using the neighbourhood plan for Writtle to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

You can find more about the Writtle Neighbourhood Plan Examination.

Plans in progress

A Neighbourhood Development Order allows town and parish councils, or other organisations, to grant planning permission for certain developments, including:

  • house extensions in a defined area
  • changes of use
  • development on a particular site

We will not be involved in the planning application process for these types of development.

However, a Neighbourhood Development Order does not include planning applications relating to:

  • minerals and waste
  • some environmental projects
  • national infrastructure

A Community Right to Build Order gives the community the ability to grant planning permission for certain developments through a referendum.

Community Right to Build Orders are for small scale developments in neighbourhoods, including housing and community facilities.

A Village Design Statement offers informal guidance about the character of a village and its surroundings, and what makes it different.

Although a Village Design Statement does not stop development, it makes sure that new developments or changes fit in with the local context.

Parish councils can prepare Village Design Statements for their local area, and submit them to us.

We have adopted many of the Village Design Statements as informal guidance, and some as part of the Local Plan.

When we consider planning applications, we take the Village Design Statement for the area into account before making a decision.

You can download and view of all the current Village Design Statements for the Chelmsford area.

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Last updated: 08 November 2021

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