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Only local planning authorities can bring forward local plans. Neighbourhood plans can be brought forward by a parish or town council or a designated neighbourhood forum. Neighbourhood forums must be open to all those living or working in the neighbourhood area.
Where a local council designates a neighbourhood as a business area, non-domestic rate payers will also be allowed to vote in the referendum at the end of the neighbourhood planning process. Business areas for neighbourhood planning will be areas which are wholly or predominantly business in nature.
A local authority will be required to put a neighbourhood plan into force where a majority of both voting residents and business rate payers support the plan in the referendum.