Why do I need to read this guide?

A neighbourhood plan enables a community to influence the design and character of future development in the area where they live. This means producing polices which set forth specific design requirements for a neighbourhood area or development site.

This guide describes what we mean by good design and sets out some tools and acitivites for assessing the qualities of a place and guidance on design policies within a neighbourhood plan.

What will I learn from this guide?

  • How design can be integrated and promoted in policy
  • Some key design principles and standards
  • Information on ways to secure a good design through your neighbourhood plan

When should I read this guide?

You should read this guide when first getting started on your plan and when starting to write the plan policies.

Further reading

You may find the ‘How to assess and allocate sites for development‘ guide helpful.


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Therefore any references to the NPPF and PPG within our toolkits and guidance documents may need to change and could be out of date when the revised NPPF is published.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.

Good design in Neighbourhood Planning (3.7MB pdf)