What is a neighbourhood plan?

Since April 2012, local communities have been able to take a lead in the future planning of their area through the preparation of neighbourhood plans.

Neighbourhood Plans focus on the needs of the local area, giving local communities the opportunity to improve and shape where they live, work, shop and go to school. The Grovehill Neighbourhood Plan is one of the first of its kind, and tests out the new planning powers introduced as part of the Localism Act.

Go to the Dacorum Borough Council’s neighbourhood planning page to find out more about the process behind creating a neighbourhood plan.

The Forum, with the support of Dacorum Borough Council, is the group leading and co-ordinating efforts to create a local neighbourhood plan for Grovehill.

Why Grovehill needs a Neighbourhood Plan

The Grovehill Future Neighbourhood Plan will create a vision for the area and set planning policies for the development and use of land within Grovehill, and be a vision and plan for regenerating Henry Wells Square and the surrounding area.  For example, identifying potential locations where new homes and offices should be built, including what they should look like, as well as other facilities and improvements the area needs.

If voted for by over 50% at a referendum, the Neighbourhood Plan will become part of the statutory development plan for Grovehill. This means that the Dacorum Borough Council and planning inspectors will have to take the plan into account when making planning decisions.


Engaging with our local community is essential to the process of local plan making, as everyone can use their local knowledge and understanding of local issues to help form the plan.

We want everyone in Grovehill to be able to have their say in putting the plan together and since we started have held various community engagement events and held consultations on the vision and issues that affect Grovehill


Neighbourhood plans can include anything that other development plan documents deal with. Plans may be comprehensive, dealing with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues, or they may be focussed on a limited range of issues.

The following are suggestions of areas that could be included with examples of topics we might focus on:

  • Housing: how much, where, affordability and what type
  • Jobs and the economy: farming, home working, broadband
  • Transport: bus services, car shares, parking
  • Better Facilities for all the community: education, leisure, play, pubs, policing, facilities for older and younger people, families etc
  • Environment: wildlife, low carbon initiatives, protection of green spaces
  • Sustainability: making sure we implement the actions in the plan and that it is flexible and adaptable

2 thoughts on “What is a neighbourhood plan?

  1. Dear Brian Dixon,

    Thank you for your question and my apologies for not responding for such a long time but I have not been monitoring the Forums website that consistently during the various lockdowns over the last year or so.
    The neighbourhood plan includes a policy on housing but the Forum is not, itself, responsible for the provision of that housing, whether that is developer led or self-build housing. Anybody building housing in Grovehill must take note of the housing policy within the plan which states that a mixture of tenures and types of housing must be provided, the houses should reflect the local character and developments should have safe access for pedestrians and cyclists and include landscaping to soften the visual aspect.
    I trust this fully answers your query.
    Yours sincerely,
    David Bloomfield, Grovehill Future Forum


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