Neighbourhood & Community Planning Services

Neighbourhood Planning

The introduction of Neighbourhood Plans in the Localism Act (2011) has provided communities with the opportunity to influence the development of their locality in the short-to-medium term (15 years). These Plans have full planning status.7 Completed NPs1

We are have been involved in the process of developing approximately 40 Neighbourhood Plans across East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.

To date, a significant proportion of the communities that we have worked with have had their Plans ‘made’ (passed their external examination and public referendum and been adopted by the Local Authority).  For details of these communities – please see the right hand margin.

We offer Town and Parish councils and Neighbourhood Plan steering groups in Sussex with a full suite of professional services to assist them in completing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, this includes advice on and assistance with:

  • Establishing the appropriateness of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area;
  • Setting up a Steering Group and applying for Area Designation;
  • Identifying and applying for funding (where available);
  • Developing a Community ‘Vision’ for the Neighbourhood Plan;
  • Undertaking Community Engagement to maximise awareness and involvement in the Plan preparation process;
  • Gathering evidence to support the development of the Plan;
  • Developing suitable Policies which respond to local needs and issues;
  • Drafting the Plan & Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA);
  • Consulting the public and stakeholders on the Draft Plan and Strategic Environmental Assessment.


All groups developing a Neighbourhood Plan or Community Development Order (once designated) are eligible to apply for up to £9,000 in grant form provided by Government through their support organisation Locality.

The detail on eligibility and the application process is available here. Additional funding and support may be provided by Local Authorities, however, this differs from area to area.

Community Led Planning

Community Led Plans (Parish Plans) have long been recognised as an effective tool in helping towns and villages to identify and address any social, economic and environmental issues they may have, whilst also allowing them to set out a vision for their community together with a detailed plan on how they will achieve it.

Broader in scope than Neighbourhood Plans, Community Led Plans are developed by communities after undertaking comprehensive and detailed public engagement. This information is then translated into a set of actions, which the community working in close conjunction with other stakeholders then seeks address. Progress in achieving these actions is monitored over time and adjusted as required. We offer support in a range of areas, including:

  • Initial meetings with parish or community group to establish the requirement;
  • Assisting with governance structure and/or steering group set-up;
  • Identifying the core audience, and provide appropriate toolkits and methods for consultation;
  • Designing consultation with bespoke surveys, and setting up of on-line surveys;
  • Prioritising Actions to be implemented within the Community Led Plan;
  • Drafting the Community Led Plan document with priority actions and evidence base;
  • Advice on implementing Actions, including signposting to funding sources.

About us

We have worked with over 75% of communities in East and West Sussex on at least one form of community planning. Great value is placed by them on our independence, neutral advice and our knowledge of local issues within both counties.

The AirS team comprises a small number of experienced and skilled community engagement officers, housing specialists, professional planners and designers. The process places much emphasis on rigorous community consultation and social inclusion, thereby generating evidence that is representative of the priorities of the whole community.

Our Neighbourhood Plan service includes professional planning and design expertise provided by our retained consultants. Their planners and architects are able to advise councils on planning policy, development options, viability and design issues. This means we are able to interrogate developer’s proposals, review the technical evidence  and draft the Neighbourhood Plan and sustainability appraisal documents (including all plans and exhibition materials), as part of our comprehensive service.

Contact Us

For further information on our Neighbourhood or Community Planning services, or for a for a full and bespoke service offer please contact:

Faustina Bayo
Senior Development Officer
Tel: (01273) 407320 Email:

Neighbourhood Planning by District

The following links provide details of the Neighbourhood Plans underway in each District, together with the relevant policies and procedures produced by each Local Authority.

Arun District
Chichester District
Horsham District
Lewes District
Mid Sussex District
Rother District
Wealden District

Useful Documents

Locality – Neighbourhood Plans Roadmap Guide

CPRE-NALC – Guide to Neighbourhood Planning

Planning Advisory Service – Neighbourhood Planning FAQs

Completed (Made) Plans

Neighbourhood Plans that we have contributed to or supported and who have passed their examination and public referendum include:

  • Angmering
  • Ardingly
  • Arundel (April 2014)
  • East Preston (January 2015)
  • Ferring (December 2014)
  • Hamsey
  • Henfield (April 2016)
  • Herstmonceux
  • Kingston
  • Lindfield & Lindfield Rural (March 2016)
  • Nuthurst (October 2015)
  • Plumpton
  • Rustington (January 2015)
  • Rye
  • Southbourne (December 2015)
  • Tangmere (May 2016)
  • Wisborough Green
  • Wivelsfield (December 2016)
  • Woldingham (March 2016)
  • Woodmancote


“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”