Community Led Planning (CLP) is a process that can empower your community to take action and make your community a better place. It brings people together to develop a shared understanding of the features and characteristics of their community and to agree upon a range of actions that can be delivered to the benefit of everyone in the locality.

A Community plan, also known as Parish Plan, is also a sound starting point for building the capacity to take on the more proscribed process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan.


  • A Plan is owned, managed and led by your community.
  • Everyone in your community should have an opportunity to get involved and have their say.
  • Actions are based on evidence and address a range of different issues important to your community.


  • Your community will grow stronger and more cohesive.
  • Your community will become more resilient and better able to take action to meet its own needs.
  • Your community will be better prepared to take advantage of government policies and other initiatives.
  • You have evidence to support service demands.
  • You have evidence to support funding applications.
  • Your community’s voice will be heard.

How we help you help yourselves to produce a community plan.

  • Explaining the reasons, benefits and method of producing a community plan.
  • Coaching your project team to understand the process and plan their approach.
  • Providing a toolkit to guide you through the stages of producing a plan.
  • Telephone and email support throughout the process.
  • Providing links to others who can help you.
  • Advice on community surveys.
  • Guidance on implementing your action plan.
  • Consultancy help should you need extra capacity.

Key Stages

  • Launching the process.
  • Evidencing local needs and aspirations.
  • Agreeing and prioritising actions.
  • Delivering and monitoring actions.

The Process

Step 1: Getting Started

  • Make contact with Devon Communities Together, your parish or town council, your district council.
  • Hold an initial event to attract community interest in the plan and explore future actions.
  • Make contact with a range of volunteers who can bring a variety of skills to the process

Step 2: Establish a Steering Group

  • Form a steering group that is representative of your community.
  • Agree the purpose of your steering group.
  • Define how the group will operate.

Step 3: Taking Stock & Forward Planning

  • Make sure that you have enough funding, volunteers, information and support needed to continue with your plan.
  • Produce a simple project plan.
  • Use our evaluation monitor to check your progress.

Step 4: Understanding Your Community

  • Identify the factors that contribute to the wellbeing and sustainability of your community.
  • Gather facts and information.
  • Use a variety of methods to consult your community to find out how they experience the locality and how it could be improved.

Step 5: Prioritising and Planning Action

  • Analyse and understand the information you have gathered.
  • Test your findings with members of your community and prioritise the key issues.
  • Scope the actions that will feature in your plan.

Step 6: Drawing Your Plan

  • Draft a plan that draws on the evidence you have gathered.
  • Prepare an action plan that identifies what will be done, by whom, with what resources and by when.

Step 7: Finalising Your Plan

  • Review your draft plan with your community and your partners.
  • Launch your plan to your community and other interested organisations.

Step 8: Implementing Your Plan

  • Ensure that the contributors to the delivery of the plan understand what needs to be done.
  • Agree who and how progress will be monitored.
  • Maintain interest in the plan and celebrate achievements.

Step 9: Monitor & Review

  • Regularly monitor progress.
  • Plan for when it is time to refresh the process.

The development of a community (or parish) plan is a process that brings people together to research local needs and expectations and to put together an action plan for improving their community.

It is a means by which you can take action and exercise influence over the issues that make a difference to your lives. Over four thousand such plans have been produced in rural communities across England. It is an inexpensive process that typically takes about eighteen months to develop.

For further information contact Devon Communities Together on 01392 248919 or email [email protected] or [email protected]