Neighbourhood Planning

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan

At a meeting of Full Council on 20 October 2020, Three Rivers District Council agreed to send the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan to referendum. The Decision Statement detailing the Council’s intention to send the Neighbourhood Plan to referendum can be downloaded below:

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan Decision Statement (pdf)

The modified version of the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan which will be subject to referendum on 6 May 2021 can be downloaded below:

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan - Referendum Version (pdf)


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all neighbourhood planning referendums scheduled to take place between 16 March 2020 and 5 May 2021 are postponed until 6 May 2021 in line with the Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. The date on which the referendum will take place is Thursday 6 May 2021.

National Planning Policy Guidance states that where a Local Planning Authority has issued a decision statement detailing its intention to send a neighbourhood plan to referendum, that plan can be given significant weight in decision-making, so far as the plan is material to the application. Therefore, following the publication of this decision statement on 21 October 2020, the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan can be given significant weight in determining planning applications where the plan is material to the application.


In February 2020 Chorleywood Parish Council formally submitted the draft Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan and supporting documents to the District Council.Following the formal submission of the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan, Three Rivers District Council undertook a statutory six-week consultation between 17 February 2020 – 30 March 2020.

Three Rivers District Council, with the agreement of Chorleywood Parish Council, appointed Ann Skippers BSc (Hons) MRTPI FRSA AoU as the Independent Examiner for the Plan. The Examiner’s role was to determine whether the Plan met the Basic Conditions as set out in Schedule 4B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and whether the Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to referendum. On 23 June 2020 the Examiner sought clarification from the Parish and District Councils on a number of factual matters (the Examiner’s questions and subsequent correspondence can be downloaded below).

The Independent Examiner's Report was issued on 29 July 2020. The Report recommended that the Plan, subject to a number of recommended modifications, should proceed to referendum. The Examiner's Report can be viewed below:

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan Examiner's Report (pdf)

You can view the documents that were submitted for examination below:

Draft Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan (pdf)

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan Basic Conditions Statement (pdf)

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Development Plan Statement of Consultation (pdf)

Chorleywood Neighbourhood Plan Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) & Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening Report (pdf)

POSE Ltd Independent Review (March 2019) (pdf)

POSE Ltd Independent Review (March 2019) Appendix 1 (pdf)

POSE Ltd Independent Review (October 2019) (pdf)

The Examiner’s questions and other correspondence relating to the examination can be viewed below:

Email from the Examiner (pdf)

Initial Questions from the Examiner (pdf)

Responses to Examiners Initial Questions (pdf)


Are there any Neighbourhood Plans in Three Rivers?

Yes, there is currently one Neighbourhood Plan in the District. The Croxley Green Neighbourhood Plan was 'made' in January 2019 and now forms part of the Development Plan for the District. Please go to the Croxley Green Neighbourhood Plan page below for further information.

Croxley Green Neighbourhood Plan

Are there any Neighbourhood Areas in Three Rivers?

Yes, there are currently four designated Neighbourhood Areas.

  • The Sarratt Neighbourhood Area was designated in July 2019. Click here to view details.
  • The Batchworth Neighbourhood Area was designated in June 2018. Click here to view details.
  • The Croxley Green Neighbourhood Area was designated in January 2014. Click here to view details.

  • The Abbots Langley Neighbourhood Area was designated in November 2014. Click here to view details.
  • The Chorleywood Neighbourhood Area was designated in July 2014. Click here to view details.

You can also view a map of the District detailing where the Neighbourhood Areas are:

TRDC Designated Neighbourhood Areas Map (pdf)

What are Neighbourhood Plans?

A Neighbourhood Plan will generally relate to development and the use of land and, at the basic level, contain development management polices such as more detailed design policies.

Can we stop development from happening in our area?

No. One of the main aims of Neighbourhood Planning is to increase the rate of housing and economic development by improving community buy-in to development proposals. Neighbourhood Plans will not be able to prevent development in a neighbourhood – they can only include proposals for an equal (or greater) amount of growth than is set out in the Three Rivers Local Development Framework (Local Plan) and national guidance.

Who will prepare them?

Neighbourhood Plans can be produced by Town or Parish Councils or, where there is none, a community group in the form of a Neighbourhood Forum . Local communities will be able to propose the boundaries of their neighbourhood. However, if a Parish/Town Council exists, the neighbourhood will reflect the Parish/Town Boundaries.

How much work will be required to produce a Neighbourhood Plan?

The level of work will largely depend on how much detail the plan goes into. This will be decided at the local level. The Plan itself is prepared by the Parish or Town Council or Neighbourhood Forum.

Neighbourhood Planning Process

There are Government regulations that set out the key stages to be followed. The Neighbourhood Development Plan Process will include a number of stages including community engagement and consultation on the draft document. Given that a Neighbourhood Plan, once adopted, will be used to determine planning applications, it is also subject to an examination and a community referendum (the majority of those voting must agree to it) before it can be adopted.

How much will it cost to do a Neighbourhood Plan and who pays?

The cost of producing a Neighbourhood Plan or Development Order will vary depending on its contents.  The development plan system is evidence driven and the purpose of the examination is in part to consider whether a plan is supported by the evidence. It is likely that evidence (usually technical studies) have already been produced by the LPA that will meet the requirements of neighbourhood plans. However some new evidence may be required depending on the nature of the Plan. The LPA will be able to assist with advice on the commissioning of any studies which are necessary but the cost will fall to the Parish Council/Neighbourhood Forum.

Initial estimates range between £15,000 - £50,000 including the Referendum and Examination. Costs may be greater if technical studies are needed to justify the approach being taken (cost of professional fees). 

It will be up to the Parish or Town Council or Neighbourhood Forum to pay for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. The Localism Act suggests that the business community could contribute to the costs. (The District Council has a duty to pay the costs of the Examination and Referendum).

How does a Neighbourhood Plan link with other planning policy?

Neighbourhood Plans are the first plans developed at a Parish/Neighbourhood level with legal force. They are formal statutory documents and are additional to, not a replacement for, the emerging Three Rivers Local Development Framework (Local Plan). If a Neighbourhood Plan is adopted after following the formal process set out above, it will be used by Three Rivers District Council to make decisions on planning applications.

How can the District Council help?

We have a duty to provide technical advice and support to communities producing a Neighbourhood Plan. The level of support will depend on budgetary and staffing constraints. We also have a duty to: 

  • agree the composition and designate Neighbourhood Forums
  • agree the boundary of the area to be covered by a Neighbourhood Plan
  • organise the independent examination of the Neighbourhood Plan and arrange and fund the referendum
  • formally adopt the Neighbourhood Plan and bring it in to force

Please contact the Development Plans Team at or call us on 01923 776611.

How can Hertfordshire County Council help?

The Development Services team in Hertfordshire Property are responsible for responding to requests from the Districts on HCC service requirements when preparing their Local Plans.  They also provide the responses on behalf of the services to Local Plan consultation documents. This includes Children’s Services (school planning/early years/youth services), Health and Community Services (accommodation/libraries/gypsy section), Community Protection (Fire and Rescue) and the Waste Disposal Authority.

They are dealing with Neighbourhood Plans in the same way.  Therefore any requests for information regarding HCC services should be directed to the DS mailbox at

Related Pages

Neighbourhood Forums
Neighbourhood Development Orders

Where can I find further Information?

Neighbourhood Planning