The Ockley Neighbourhood Development Plan - Introduction


A Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area. It is about the use and development of land and may contain a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities or allocation of key sites for specific kinds of development. It may deal with a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues (housing, employment, heritage and transport) or it may focus on one or two issues

A NDP will be part of the statutory development plan for the area , if successful at referendum. This statutory status gives NDPs far more weight than some other local documents, such as Parish Plans, Community Plans and Village Design Statements.

A robust programme of community engagement helps make sure that a NDP is based on proper understanding of the local area and the needs, aspirations and views of local people.

A NDP has to meet a number of ‘basic conditions’ set out in legislation to ensure it has been prepared properly and with regard to national and local planning policy. Once a NDP has been completed it will have to be submitted to the local authority and then be subjected to an independent examination. The final stage is a public referendum where it is necessary to gain a 50% 'yes' vote to ‘make’ the NDP and bring it into action.

The NDP process can be illustrated as follows:


The constitution of the Ockley NDP Steering Group and the designation of the Neighbourhood Area (the Parish of Ockley) were agreed at the Council Meeting of Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) on 22nd March, 2022. 

Village Meetings and Surveys

At the early stage we have held a Village Meeting (15th March, 2022) and are conducting a Survey. These activities are an early part of the consultation we are organising with residents of the parish. Such consultation is an essential part of the NDP process and it is unlikely that the plan will pass examination unless the consultation process can be demonstrated to have been comprehensive.

Formal Consultation Regulation 14

Neighbourhood planning regulations (Regulation 14) require the draft NDP proposal to be the subject of a 6 week pre-submission consultation before it is submitted to the local authority for independent examination. The consultation should last at least 6 weeks. The neighbourhood planning body will need to approve the consultation draft of the plan before the Regulation 14 consultation takes place.

Revise Plan

The results of this Reg 14 consultation must be considered by the Steering Group and all suggestions should be discussed and agreed as to whether the draft NDP should be revised.

Submit to MVDC

Once the Steering Group is satisfied that all representations have been satisfactorily dealt with the NDP (along with all appendices) will be submitted to MVDC for examination. At that stage the onus for progressing the plan rests with them.

MVDC Submission Consultation

MVDC will arrange for the plan to be publicised and a further 6 week consultation will take place (Regulation 16) and for the plan to be submitted for Independent Examination.


This will be done by an Independent Examiner(s) who will consider whether the plan meets the basic conditions and other legal requirements.


If the neighbourhood plan is found to be satisfactory, with modifications if necessary, then the local authority will arrange for the referendum to take place.


If successful at referendum, a neighbourhood plan comes into force as part of the development plan for the area alongside the Local Plan. Local planning authorities and planning inspectors considering planning applications or appeals must make their decisions in accordance with the policies of the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.