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Neighbourhood plans

7th September 2021

What is a neighbourhood plan?

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in 2011 to allow communities to have a say in how their local area will be developed. While a neighbourhood plan cannot stipulate that less development should be allowed, it can give local communities more say on the size and location of developments that can take place. They can also influence the type of developments, style of buildings as well as other local priorities. The plans can be put together by local parish councils, or a collection of local residents, via a neighbourhood forum.

What features in a neighbourhood plan varies in different areas. It can include issues such as housing, transport, historical considerations, community facilities and the natural environment.

Find out more about neighbourhood plans HERE.

Natural environment

Neighbourhood plans usually incorporate provisions for green infrastructure and the natural environment. This can include retaining certain green spaces, tree planting and habitat creation.


One of the main things developers can do to help sustain local hedgehog populations is incorporate hedgehog highways. These 13cm gaps in fences allow hedgehogs to travel through the urban landscape, and help to combat the issue of habitat fragmentation. Hedgehogs can thrive in urban gardens, provided they can access them. Following a petition by hedgehog ecologist and author Hugh Warwick, hedgehog highways are now recommended in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It’s therefore a good idea to explain highways and their importance in neighbourhood plans. You can find some example wording in the below resource from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.

Additional provisions for hedgehogs could include:

  • Retaining hedgerows and areas of scrub.
  • Incorporating log piles and natural areas in communal green spaces.
  • Ensuring hazards are mitigated for (for example, ramps or sloping sides for hedgehogs to climb out of ponds).
Hedgehog highway photo by Sean Hill


More information about hedgehogs and development.

Find out more about our ongoing work with developers.

The BIG Hedgehog Map for determining hedgehog distribution in your local area.

Find more information on hedgehogs and neighbourhood plans from our friends at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust HERE.