Toggle menu

Shape development in your area with Neighbourhood Planning workshops

Residents have the power to shape the development and growth of their local area through Neighbourhood Planning, but too few know how.

Aerial of houses and playing fields

That's set to change as St Helens Borough Council secures Government funding to engage with residents around the creation of this community-led planning opportunity and the benefits it brings. 

Using this funding, the council has commissioned an independent organisation to engage with and deliver neighbourhood planning support to community groups up to September 2023. 

Engagement begins soon with 'Introduction to Neighbourhood Planning' workshops at three locations starting later this month. The workshops are free for all to attend, and will explain what neighbourhood planning is, how neighbourhood planning could benefit your area, how to get started and what help is available. 

Through Neighbourhood Planning, communities can choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what they should look like and what infrastructure should be provided. 

There are numerous benefits that good neighbourhood planning with community support can bring, as they can: 

  • Identify and protect local green spaces 
  • Protect the character and appearance of an area 
  • Manage new development in an area 
  • Recognise and protect local heritage assets 
  • Promote good design in new development 
  • Allocate land for new development 
  • Outline future proposals for new infrastructure in an area, including open space, transport connections, schools, health facilities, and other community infrastructure 
  • Contribute to achieving a vision and strategic priorities for your area 

A neighbourhood plan should support the delivery of strategic policies in the St Helens Local Plan. They can't be used to propose less development or stop development that has already been permitted or identified through the Local Plan. But they can be a powerful tool for local people to ensure that they get future development which meets the needs of their community. 

In doing so, it gives local communities the power to shape development in their area through a formal plan that has been subject to consultation, examination and public referendum. 

Following a successful public referendum outcome, a neighbourhood plan is "made" and brought into statutory force. At this point it will form part of the Development Plan for the area, along with the Local Plan, against which planning applications will be assessed, and subsequently determined. 

Councillor Richard McCauley, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration, said: "Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision and shape the development and growth of their local area. And while our Local Plan has been developed with and for our borough, the powerful tools available to residents through neighbourhood planning really could influence how the delivery of the plan looks in their community. 

"I'd encourage anyone with an interest and pride in the development of their local area to get involved, tap into the independent expertise we have commissioned and see what can be achieved together through neighbourhood planning." 

For more information visit

The introductory workshops are free to attend but booking is required. Find an online booking form on the above website, or alternatively email DAC Planning on or call them on 07990 038778. 

The workshops will be held on: 

  • Monday 30 January, 6-8pm - Clock Face Labour Club, Clock Face Road, St Helens WA9 4TZ 
  • Tuesday 31 January, 11am-1pm - St Helens Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens WA10 1HP 
  • Tuesday 7 February, 2-4pm - Newton-le-Willows Community Centre, Park Road South, Newton-le-Willows WA12 8EX