Why do I need to read this guide?

While the process of producing a neighbourhood plan is led by communities, the evidence gathering and plan drafting stages may require groups to commission engagement and planning consultants to help. This guide describes the process of commissioning consultants.

What will I learn from this guide?

  • How to effectively commission consultants
  • How to prepare a brief for commissioning consultants
  • How to select the most suitable consultant

Further reading

Before commissioning consultants it is a good idea to understand what is required in producing a neighbourhood plan. The Roadmap will help develop this understanding.


A revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Therefore any references to the NPPF and PPG within our toolkits and guidance documents may need to change and could be out of date when the revised NPPF is published. Please be aware of this when reading our documents.

How to commission consultants to work on your neighbourhood plan (849.1KB pdf)