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Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood plans are the result of a community working together with us to decide how their local area should develop and grow in the future. The Localism Act (2011) introduces neighbourhood planning. Neighbourhood plans must be in general conformity with the policies of the Local Plan for their area and they should plan positively to support it.

Neighbourhood Area application

As a first step, an application must be submitted to us to designate a Neighbourhood Area. See our Designated Neighbourhood Areas map (PDF document)

The process of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan

When a draft Neighbourhood Plan has been produced it has to be submitted for formal examination in front of an Planning Inspector. If the plan is found to be 'sound' it will then be the subject of a local referendum, if the referendum agrees to the plan we will then adopt the Neighbourhood Plan as part of the Local Plan for the area.

More details 

More information on neighbourhood planning, including frequently asked questions, can be found on the Communities and Local Government Neighbourhood Planning website.

Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

Following an independent examination and referendum, Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive has brought the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan into legal force and therefore the Neighbourhood Plan becomes part of the Council’s Development Plan and will be given full weight in the determination of all planning applications within Shinfield Parish.

A copy of the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan and appendices can be found below


Hard copies of the Decision Statement are available to view at

  • Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1WP (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
  • Shinfield Parish Council Office, Shinfield Parish Hall, School Green, Shinfield, Berkshire, RG2 9EH (9am to 12pm Monday to Friday)
  • Wokingham Library, Denmark Street, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 2BB (Monday 9.30am to 7pm, Tuesday 9.30am to 5pm, Wednesday 9.30am to 1pm, Thursday 9.30am to 8pm, Friday 9.30am to 4pm, Saturday 9.30am to 4pm)

Previous stages of the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan Process

Shinfield Parish was designated as a Neighbourhood Area in 2012.

As part of the Regulation 16 publication, a consultation on the Draft Neighbourhood Plan took place between 4 April and 16 May 2016. A summary of the representations received can be found below

Please note: The table of representations is a summary, so comments will not be verbatim. All the original representation documents were submitted to the independent Examiner for review, pursuant to paragraph 9 of Schedule 4B to the 1990 Act.

The Examiner’s final report concluded that the plan should proceed to referendum subject to the recommended changes being made. You can read the report below

A referendum relating to the Shinfield Neighbourhood plan was held on Thursday 8 December 2016. People living in Shinfield Parish who are registered to vote in local elections were entitled to vote in the referendum, which was conducted following similar procedures to those used at local government elections.

The question asked in the referendum was

Do you want Wokingham Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Shinfield Parish to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

A total of 87 percent of people who voted in the referendum voted Yes to this question and so Wokingham Borough Council took steps to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan in the Council’s Executive meeting on 26 January 2017.

Additional documents

More details

More details can be found on the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan website.

Arborfield and Barkham Parish Councils Neighbourhood Area Designation 

Arborfield and Newland and Barkham Parishes were designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 31 July 2014, following the consultation period 17 April to 30 May 2014.


More details

More details can be found on the Arborfield and Barkham Neighbourhood Plan website.

Ruscombe Parish Council Neighbourhood Area Designation

Ruscombe Parish Council was designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 25th January2018, following the consultation period 11 December 2017 to 12 January 2018. 

Read the documents

The relevant documents are found below

St Nicholas Hurst Parish Area Designation

St Nicholas Hurst Parish Council was designated as a Neighbourhood Area on 10th April 2018 following the decision by the Council’s Executive on 29th March 2018. 

Read the Documents

The relevant documents can be found below:

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