This is our Maidstone Local Plan site dedicated to giving you the latest information and details about the local plan.

Neighbourhood Planning

What is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood planning has been introduced to enable more community involvement in the planning process, so that people can shape their local areas and have a greater say in planning decisions.

There are three types of neighbourhood planning documents:

  • a Neighbourhood Development Plan (shortened to neighbourhood plan) sets out planning policies for development and the use of land in a local area. Once adopted, a neighbourhood plan becomes part of the development plan for the area. This means that the plan has weight when decisions are made on planning applications.
  • a Neighbourhood Development Order allows permission to be granted for a particular development or use within a defined area without needing planning permission.
  • a Community Right to Build Order allows a local group to deliver a specific development, such as new homes or new community facilities that the local community is in favour of.

Made Neighbourhood Plans

Post-examination Neighbourhood Plans

The following Neighbourhood Plans have been examined by an independent examiner who has considered that the plan should move to referendum. A post-examination neighbourhood plan becomes a significant material consideration in decisions on planning applications. Referendums will recommence in May 2021.

Made Neighbourhood Plans

The Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan was updated in August 2020. The changes that were made to the neighbourhood plan can be found in the modification document.

There are 4 made (adopted) neighbourhood plans in Maidstone

Designated Areas


One of the first steps in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan is to apply to designate the Neighbourhood Area, which is the geographical area that the plan will cover. This process can only be done by a parish council, or by a Neighbourhood Forum in an unparished area.

Designated Neighbourhood Areas

Within the borough of Maidstone, the following Neighbourhood Areas have been designated;

Designated Neighbourhood Forums

The Localism Act gave local communities the power to come together as Neighbourhood Forums and work on Neighbourhood Plans to develop and implement local priority objectives such as infrastructure improvements and community facilities.

The following Neighbourhood Forum has been designated;

North Loose Residents' Association

Process Overview


Neighbourhood Planning is governed by the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 and is made up of a number of key stages;

  • Designation of a Neighbourhood Area
  • Designation of a  Neighbourhood Forum
  • Drafting of the plan and pre-submission consultation
  • Submission to the Local Authority for publication
  • Consultation
  • Examination
  • Referendum

There are certain processes that need to be gone through while preparing a Neighbourhood Plan to make sure that it is in line with government regulations and guidance. The Plan must also conform with strategic policies in the local plan. Have a look at our flowchart which outlines the process.



The Planning Advisory Service has Neighbourhood Planning guidance and support on their website. They also have a free to access project management tool to help local authorities and communities working together to produce Neighbourhood Plans, and there is guidance on every stage of production.

Other Support

There are a number of useful websites offering guidance and advice;

The Heritage Lottery Fund has grants for community led heritage projects.


Preparing a Plan

The following advice notes have been produced to guide parish councils and neighbourhood forums in preparing a neighbourhood plan.

Statement of Community Involvement

The Statement of Community Involvement 2020 sets out when and how stakeholders and the local community can get involved in the preparation of local plans, neighbourhood development plans and supplementary planning documents, and be involved in the process of decision making on planning applications.

There is a temporary addendum in relation to Covid 19 which can be viewed here.

The Neighbourhood Planning Protocol supports the Statement of Community Involvement and outlines detailed actions for each regulatory stage.

Progress of Neighbourhood Plans
Area/Parish Area Designation Pre-Submission Consultation Submission to MBC and Public Consultation Independent Examination MBC's decision to move to Referendum




Boughton Monchelsea



Submission - 10.03.20

Consultation - 14.08.20 - 28.09.20

Examiner's final report (December 2020)

Post Examination Plan

Referendum - see below




Broomfield & Kingswood


Ended on 13.07.15

Submission - 21.10.15

Consultation - 06.11.15 - 18.11.15

Final Examiner's Report February 2016

Decision Statement



Ended on 20.12.13

Withdrawn on 02.10.14




Withdrawn on 05.05.15




Ended on 31.07.15

Submission - 13.11.15

Consultation - 15.01.16 - 26.02.16

Final Examiner's Report (March 2017)

Decision Statement



24.09.18 - 09.11.18

Submission - 19.12.19

Consultation - 14.02.20 - 27.03.20

Final Examiner's report (June 2020)

Post-Examination Plan

Referendum - see below



31.10.16 - 13.12.16

Submission - 10.07.18

Consultation - 02.11.18 - 14.12.18

Examiner's Report (March 2019)

Post-Examination Plan

Referendum - see below



09.06.2018 - 21.07.2018

09.06.2018 - 21.07.2018- Annex 1

Submission - 28.05.2019

Consultation -14.06.19-26.07.19

Final Examiner's Report (October 2019)

Post-Examination Plan

Referendum - see below

North Loose



20.06.18 Map

Ended on 21.06.15

Submission - 09.08.15

Consultation - 11.09.15 - 23.10.15

Examiner's report (December 2015)

Post-Examination Plan

Referendum Result - March 2016

Otham 01.08.201722.07.19 - 06.09.19

Submission - 08.09.20

Consultation - 16.10.20 - 27.11.20

Final Examiner's Report (March 2021)



Ended on 17.07.14

Submission - 08.09.15

Consultation - 23.10.15 - 04.12.15

Final Examiners Report (August 2016)

Post-Examination Plan

Referendum result - November 2016

Sutton Valence





Yalding 19.04.18   



There are two Neighbourhood Plans that are awaiting referendum.

Boughton Monchelsea Neighbourhood Plan
Lenham Neighbourhood Plan

There have been four Neighbourhood Plans that have passed the referendum stage.

Marden Neighbourhood Plan

Referendum Results

Do you want Maidstone Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Marden to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?


Rejected Ballots

ReasonNumber of Ballots
Want of official mark0
Voting for or against the same question0
Writing or mark by which voter could be identified1
Being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty0
Rejected in part0

Turnout = 26.8%

Loose Neighbourhood Plan

Referendum results

Do you want Maidstone Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Loose to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?


Rejected Ballots

ReasonNumber of Ballots
Want of official mark0
Voting for or against the same question0
Writing or mark by which voter could be identified1
Being unmarked or wholly void for uncertainty0
Rejected in part0

Turnout = 22.42%

North Loose Neighbourhood Plan
Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan


Past consultations

Otham Neighbourhood Plan

Otham Parish Council has prepared a Neighbourhood Development Plan that sets out a sustainable vision for the neighbourhood area and a series of policies that the community is proposing to be used in the determination of planning applications. The Otham Neighbourhood Plan was submitted on 8 September 2020 and the Neighbourhood Plan was subject to consultation. More details on the consultation can be found here.

The submission documents comprise:

Contact us


If you would like to get in contact with us please email neighbourhoodplanning@maidstone.gov.uk

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