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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. The application requires at least a 6-week consultation period before a decision is reached to designate the area or not. 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

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% of people who voted in the referendum voted Yes to this question and so Wokingham Borough Council will now take steps to formally adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.

To find out more about the planning system, neighbourhood planning and the referendum, please read the Information Statement below. The specified documents referred to in the information statement are also linked below:


The council’s Executive at its meeting on 29 September 2016 agreed that the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan should be modified in accordance with the recommendations made by the independent examiner and that the plan should proceed to referendum.

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 here:

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:

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.

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