Manchester City Council

Planning & regeneration Neighbourhood Planning

Qualifying Bodies

The following are the bodies which communities can form in order to be able to carry out Neighbourhood Planning processes:

  • Parish/Town Councils

They can automatically initiate the process and submit proposals as long as the Neighbourhood Area concerned consists of or includes the whole or part of area of the parish council area. Ringway is the only Parish Council in Manchester .

  • Neighbourhood Forums 

They can only be designated if the Neighbourhood Area concerned does not include any part of the area of a parish council. An existing body or organisation can submit an application to be designated as a Neighbourhood Forum, provided that it meets the requirements set out below.

 An application to become a Neighbourhood Forum, with a plan of the designated Neighbourhood Area and a statement of reasons, should be submitted by the applicant to the Council. ; Regulation 8 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 sets out what a prospective neighbourhood forum must submit to the Council as part of its neighbourhood forum application. To be valid, the application must include:

  • The name of the proposed neighbourhood forum.
  • A copy of the written constitution of the proposed neighbourhood forum.
  • The name of the neighbourhood area to which the application relates and a map which identifies the area.
  • The contact details of at least one member of the proposed neighbourhood forum, which will be made public.
  • A statement which explains how the body / organisation which it is proposed be designated as a neighbourhood forum meets the conditions contained in section 61F(5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended. These conditions are that the body:

Is established for the purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental well being of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood concerned.

Has a membership which is open to people who either live in the area, who work there, or who are ward councillors for the area has at least 21 members each of whom falls into one of the categories in (b) above.

Has a written constitution.

Download a Neighbourhood Forum Application Form

The Council will check that the application meets the requirements above. In making a decision about whether to designate the neighbourhood forum, the Council must also consider the extent to which the body applying to be a neighbourhood forum has:-

  • Secured, or taken reasonable steps to secure, membership from at least one individual falling within the categories in (b) above.
  • Drawn its membership from different places within the neighbourhood area concerned, and from different sections of the community in the area.
  • A purpose which reflects the character of the neighbourhood area (in general terms).

Therefore community groups may wish to set out how they have addressed these additional considerations in their neighbourhood forum application.

If you wish to contact the Council to discuss your neighbourhood forum application before you submit it, or have any other queries about Neighbourhood Planning please email

Generally a neighbourhood area application would be submitted and designated by the Council before a neighbourhood forum application is submitted, so that the Council can make a judgement on how well the membership of the proposed neighbourhood forum reflects the designated neighbourhood area. Community organisations may submit both applications simultaneously, and the 6 week consultation on each would run concurrently, however there is the risk that if the neighbourhood area boundaries are changed by the Council before it is designated the neighbourhood forum membership may not be appropriate. Neighbourhood forum applications may be submitted to the Council by emailing the City Policy Team at, or by post to:

Planning Strategy Group
City Policy
Manchester City Council
Level 5, Town Hall Extension
PO Box 532
Manchester M60 2LA

Following receipt of a neighbourhood forum application, the Council will consult on this for 6 weeks and then make a decision about designating the neighbourhood forum, taking into account the considerations in the bullet points above. A neighbourhood forum designation will last five years from the date of designation. 

  • Community Organisations

Community Organisations can only submit a Community Right to Build Order, they cannot prepare Neighbourhood Plans.

Community Organisations do not need to be designated by the Local Authority. However, at the time the proposal for the Order is made more than half of the members of the organisation must live in the neighbourhood area. They need to be corporate bodies, which are established for the express purpose of furthering the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals living, or wanting to live, in a particular area. They should also have secured the membership of at least 10 people who live in different dwellings to each other and live in the particular Neighbourhood Area. Membership of the Community Organisation as a voting member must be open to all individuals who live and work in the particular area, and the organisation’s constitution must provide that local residents hold the majority voting rights and have the majority on the board of directors.

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