What is a Parish Plan?

A Parish Plan is a document identifying all the relevant issues of importance to a community and could include issues of social, economic and environmental concern. The plan presents a shared vision for the community to use for years to come. It is produced ‘by the community for the community'; so it is important that everyone in the community has an opportunity to participate in its preparation. It needs to be based on information provided through research and consultation. The main source of information for the plan will be a questionnaire.

The final focus should be on action through the production of an Action Plan which should detail specific actions and identify who will be responsible for implementing them. It is important that a copy of the Action Plan is circulated to all households within the parish. Some parishes have chosen to circulate the complete Parish Plan but this depends on available funds.

Parish Plans are unique to each parish in their design, contents and issues of concern, but each Parish Plan does need to have the following:

  • Evidence of widespread community involvement at the consultation stage, and agreement by the community to address the issues identified.
  • Where necessary, evidence of research.
  • Evidence of support from statutory bodies for the parish in undertaking a Parish Plan and where necessary assistance in providing information and advice on issues during the consultation process.
  • Early engagement in the process from statutory bodies and other organisations.

Parish plans are intended to be evolving documents, outlining how a community would like to develop over the next ten years and beyond, and include an action plan detailing how these developments can be achieved.

Why a Parish Plan is important

Parish Plans provide a comprehensive and holistic vision for the Parish and involve the community in identifying what is important to them. This will help to ensure that villages and towns maintain thriving and sustainable communities.

How will a Parish Plan be used?

Parish Plans can be used:

  • By the Parish Council as a record of what is important to the community.
  • As supplementary guidance and taken into account by the District and County Councils when planning services.
  • As a source of information for service providers to ensure the needs of local people are recognised and where appropriate addressed.
  • In mapping exercises to ensure initiatives are not duplicated and that valuable resources are used prudently by service providers.
  • As evidence of need for funding applications.
  • As a vehicle for managing change.

Data Protection

This research is being carried out in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Responses will be analysed on an anonymous basis, no one person's answers will be traceable unless they choose to identify themselves. Even then, individual information will NOT be passed on to mailing lists or to anyone else."