Neighbourhood planning

Find out about neighbourhood plans in Three Rivers District

Neighbourhood planning covers the development and use of land in a particular area. Neighbourhood plans are a way you can shape and influence the places where you live and work.

Neighbourhood plans include proposals for new developments. The proposals must meet or exceed the amount of development set out in the Local Plan and national guidance. Plans cannot be used to prevent development in a neighbourhood.

Sarratt Neighbourhood Plan
The independent Examination of the Sarratt Neighbourhood Plan is currently underway. The Council, in agreement with Sarratt Parish Council, has appointed Ann Skippers to carry out the Examination.
On 12 September 2023, the Examiner sent a letter setting out Questions of Clarification and Note of Interim Findings to Sarratt Parish Council and Three Rivers District Council. The Councils are currently preparing a response to the Inspector’s letter.

Questions of Clarification and Note of Interim Findings (PDF)

Email transcript (PDF)

There are two neighbourhood plans in Three Rivers District:

There are also five designated areas:

View a map of designated areas in Three Rivers District (PDF, 11 MB).

Preparing a neighbourhood plan

Town or parish councils generally produce neighbourhood plans. Local communities acting as a neighbourhood forum can also produce a plan. Local communities can propose the boundaries of their neighbourhood. However, if there is a parish/town council, the neighbourhood will reflect the parish/town boundaries.

The process for developing a neighbourhood plan is set by government regulations, as described in the neighbourhood development plan process note (PDF, 37 KB). The process involves community engagement and consultation on the draft document. Technical studies may also need to be conducted to ensure the plan is supported by evidence.

Because adopted neighbourhood plans are used to determine planning applications, they are also subject to an examination and a community referendum.

How neighbourhood plans are funded

It typically costs between £15,000 to £50,000 to produce a neighbourhood plan, including the referendum and examination. Costs may be higher if technical studies need to be conducted to support the plan.

The cost of developing a neighbourhood plan is the responsibility of the parish or town council or neighbourhood forum, though Three Rivers District Council has a duty to pay for the examination and referendum. As per the Localism Act 2011, the business community can contribute to the costs.

Help with developing a neighbourhood plan

We 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 the neighbourhood plan
  • organise the independent examination of the neighbourhood plan and arrange and fund the referendum
  • formally adopt the neighbourhood plan and bring it into force

For help developing a neighbourhood plan, contact the Development Plans Team at or 01923 776611.

Hertfordshire County Council also provides advice on neighbourhood plans. Please direct queries to

Further support

For assistance developing a neighbourhood plan, you may find the below links helpful: