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Neighbourhood Planning

Designation of this Forum

This forum was formally designated on 20th December 2019

The March 2022 draft of the Neighbourhood plan can be found here

The December 2021 draft of the Neighbourhood plan can be found here.


The Forum is a community-led organisation that works to make Burslem an even better place for people to live, work, visit and invest in.  We’re part of a powerful community-driven movement to put people at the centre of changes and developments in Burslem.

Fierce local pride throughout our community has ensured that a number of committed individuals, groups, businesses and elected representatives have kept their faith in their determination that Burslem would reinvent itself for the future.

Our vision, which we are working on as we begin to document the Plan, is to contribute to the renewal of heritage buildings, support existing and new businesses, seek investment in local infrastructure, promote world class education and lifelong learning, and ensuring the cultural opportunities and events within Burslem are nurtured and accessible to everyone.

The Burslem Neighbourhood Plan sets out to refine, agree, document and then execute on this vision.

How we work

  • Publicise and promote the work of our Neighbourhood Forum and organise meetings, events and initiatives that support the aims of the Plan.  Join us now if you work or live in the area and want to contribute a little of your time, energy and ideas.
  • Work with SoT City Council and local groups including voluntary bodies, charities, statutory and non-statutory organisations
  • Oversee working groups established to develop the Plan and then implement it
  • Upon completion of the plan, help ensure that local planning applications are subject to suitable scrutiny and are meeting the policies in the Plan

Neighbourhood Forum Constitution

Neighbourhood Plan Area

Project Plan


Evidence Base

  • Click here for our evidence base and guidance

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 23rd October 2019

Tuesday 19th Feb 2019

Wednesday 14th November 2018

Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Tuesday 27th March 2018

What is a neighbourhood plan?

In very simple terms, a neighbourhood plan is:

•A document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications

•Prepared and written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority

•A powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.

Local people can create a plan that allows them to develop planning policies that reflect the priorities of their area and have real legal weight. The whole community then decides at a referendum vote whether the plan comes into force.

A neighbourhood plan is an important document with real legal force, therefore there are certain formal procedures that it must go through. 

See also : 

Royal Town Planning Institute 

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011. Communities can shape development in their areas through the production of Neighbourhood Development Plans, Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.

Neighbourhood Development Plans are a statutory planning document and will be used with the Local Plan to test all planning applications in the area.  Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders allow communities to grant planning permission either in full or in outline for the types of development they want to see in their areas.

It must be stressed that the policies produced are not a method for stopping development, what they can do is shape where that development will go and what it will look like.

Neighbourhood planning is one of the community rights, along with the Community Right to Build, Community Right to Bid, Community Right to Challenge and Community Right to Reclaim Land. See the My Community Rights website for more information.

How does it work?

A community group known as a neighbourhood forum needs to be established to lead. The Localism Act recognises that not all communities are residential in nature and as such in areas that are predominantly commercial then a business led neighbourhood forum can be established.

The Local Planning Authority (Stoke-on-Trent City Council) is involved and will make decisions at key stages of the process, such as approving the neighbourhood area within which the Neighbourhood Development Plan will have effect. It will also organise the independent examination of the plan and the community referendum that is held at the end of the process.

The referendum is an important part of the process allowing those that live in the neighbourhood area to decide whether or not the Neighbourhood Development Plan, Neighbourhood Development Order or Community Right to Build Order comes into effect or not. This is direct democracy and outlines the importance of working with the wider community and securing their support at an early stage in the process.

The Joint Local Plan & associated timetable

The Council has a published timetable for the production of the Joint Local Plan.  This is currently being reviewed and will be updated through our AMR/ LDS which is expected to be published in November.   The current timetable can be found in the 2018 AMR/ LDS following the link below:

Whilst Neighbourhood plans can be developed before, after or in-parallel with the local plan, the law does require that they be in general conformity with the strategic policies in the adopted local plan.  Therefore, a collaborative approach whereby both neighbourhood and local plans are developed in parallel would be the most optimal solution.  A neighbourhood plan developed after the local plan will naturally be constrained to local plan compliance to some extent, and less influential on key decisions.

It is therefore the intent of this forum to develop the neighbourhood plan in parallel with the local plan.

Key dates for the local plan:

  • Public consultation of full draft - August/September 2020
  • Submission of draft local plan to secretary of state - December 2020

Role of officers

  • The Chair. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson to chair all meetings or a designated deputy in his/her absence. And to ensure that meetings are held in accordance with the provisions of the Forum constitution.
  • The Treasurer. It shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer to ensure that the finance provisions of the constitution (see clause 9 below) are carried out.
  • The Secretary. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary to keep a register of members, ensure that minutes are taken of all Management Committee, Special General and Annual General meetings and that the minutes are accessible to all members via the Forum’s website.

Useful Links

Other websites such as those below have further information for those that would like to research things more.