The growing interest in the preparation of Neighbourhood Development Plans (neighbourhood plans) is clear for all to see. From the frontrunners scheme in 2011 to September 2016 around 2,000 communities have shown interest and taken steps to designate their area and start to prepare plans, and the number of communities interested keeps growing. If you’ve not come across neighbourhood planning yet have a look at the web site and specifically the pages about neighbourhood planning neighbourhood-planning.

However, despite the interest in neighbourhood planning there does not seem as much interest in Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDOs). Again if you have not come across them there is a good guide and more information about Neighbourhood Development Orders on the mycommunity web site NDO-Guide.

It is clear that for many communities the prize in preparing a neighbourhood plan is not only influencing the type of development that comes forward but actually seeing the development they seek to bring forward happen.

Whilst an NDO can be developed without preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan there seems to me a real logic in them being developed within, and as part of the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). Firstly, much of the work required in preparing an NDO is required to prepare an NDP, so why not establish an NDO for a site within the NDP (if the NDP is allocating sites)? Secondly, preparing an NDO has the potential to bring forward development more rapidly as a consequence.

So supporting communities to develop an NDO within their NDP appears to be a way of supporting them to reach the prize. Whilst in many ways still uncharted water why not dovetail NDOs into the preparation of NDP. To stimulate thinking about this I’ve put some thoughts down in a short paper which may help with the practicalities of dovetailing the two, which you might be interested in just click here.