Neighbourhood planning was introduced under the 2011 Localism Act, to encourage communities to shape and influence development within the places where they live and work. Neighbourhood plans are produced by community forum groups or parish or town councils, and correspond to the Local Plan. In this case, the Local Plan is prepared by West Dorset District Council. Neighbourhood plans can influence or allocate new housing; produce design policies for allocated sites or for general design policies; protect or identify new community facilities; and identify green spaces to be protected from any future development proposals.
A group of local residents have formed a Steering Group to produce the Puddletown Neighbourhood Plan. The members are: Paul Langdon (Chair), Peter Churchill, Jane Cox, Janey Gordon, John Ridout, Mark Richardson, and Mary Miles. The qualifying body is Puddletown Area Parish Council. The Steering Group have recently appointed planning and design consultants Feria Urbanism to help assist in the production of the plan - their work can be viewed at http://www.feria-urbanism.eu/.