What is a Neighbourhood Forum and what can it do?

A Neighbourhood Forum is a body of people who live, work or act as councillors for a defined area. It must have a minimum of 21 Members and a Constitution. In deciding whether to designate a Forum the Council must consider the application against the requirements of the Act, in particular its purpose and the local connections of its membership.

A Neighbourhood Forum is designated for a period of 5 years and no other Neighbourhood Forum can be declared for all or part of the Neighbourhood Area during that period.

A Neighbourhood Forum has the power to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.  This can include specific policies and land allocations but must be broadly in alignment with the Council’s own Local Plan, including on housing numbers. Preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan has to go through a defined process including consultation on a draft Plan, consideration by an independent Examiner and a public referendum before approval. Once adopted the Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the Statutory Development Plan for the area.


Current Neighbourhood Forums

Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum

Bacup and Stacksteads Neighbourhood Forum


Guidance and further information

Guidance on Neighbourhood Planning

Government National Planning Practice Guidance

The Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012


For any further information please contact forwardplanning@rossendalebc.gov.uk.