Summary of the ‘Basic Conditions’ for Neighbourhood Plans


Only a draft neighbourhood plan or Order that meets each of a set of basic conditions can be put to a referendum and be made. The basic conditions are set out in paragraph 8(2) of schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as applied to neighbourhood plans by section 38A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


In order to meet the Basic Conditions, the neighbourhood plan must:

·         have regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State;

·         contribute to the achievement of sustainable development;

·         be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan for the area;

·         be compatible with and not breach European Union (EU) obligations (under retained EU law)[1]; and

·         meet prescribed conditions and comply with prescribed matters.


Regulation 32 of the 2012 Regulations prescribes a further Basic Condition for a neighbourhood plan. This requires that the making of the Neighbourhood Plan does not breach the requirements of Chapter 8 of Part 6 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (‘the Habitats Regulations’)[2].


[1] The existing body of environmental regulation is retained in UK law.


[2] This revised Basic Condition came into force on 28 December 2018 through the Conservation of Habitats and Species and Planning (Various Amendments) (England and Wales) Regulations 2018.