Neighbourhood planning in Emsworth

Forum designation

In 2014, a community group called the Emsworth Forum applied to Havant Borough Council to be designated as the ’neighbourhood forum’ and the Emsworth Ward to be designated as a ‘neighbourhood area’ for the purposes of neighbourhood planning. The council accepted that application and designated the forum and the area on 23 July 2014. 

Designations expire after 5 years, so the forum re-applied and was again designated for a further 5 years on 24 June 2019, through a delegated decision by the Service Director for Regeneration & Place. The approved 2019 designation application documents are available below:

Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan

Since their original designation, the Emsworth Forum have been developing their Neighbourhood Plan, and submitted it to the council on 25 April 2019. The submission documents are available below:

A 6 week consultation under Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations ran from 26 April to 7 June 2019. A summary of the responses received is available below:


The council, in consultation with the forum, appointed an independent examiner to review whether the plan meets the basic conditions. 

Following an unaccompanied visit to Emsworth, the examiner sent a Clarification Note to the Emsworth Forum and the borough council. The responses are published below.

The examiner’s report was received on 6 January 2020. It concludes that, subject to a series of recommended modifications, the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum.


The council has decided to accept the examiner’s recommendations and send the plan to referendum. 

The question asked will be: "Do you want Havant Borough Council to use the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the Neighbourhood Area?"

The referendum was scheduled to take place alongside the local elections on 7 May 2020. Due to the Coronavirus situation, the Government has postponed all elections and referendums until 6 May 2021.

Weight of the Post-Examination Neighbourhood Plan

The government has issued advice to local authorities regarding neighbourhood plans where a referendum has been announced. 

This advice states that a neighbourhood plan can be given significant weight in decision-making in advance of a referendum, so far as the plan is material to the application.

Following this guidance, the post-examination version of the Emsworth Neighbourhood Plan will now be given significant weight when deciding on planning applications in Emsworth.


Any questions should be directed to the Planning Policy Team at or on telephone 023 9244 6539. Further details can also be found on the Emsworth Forum website and in the Government’s Neighbourhood Planning Guidance.