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.

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.

  • 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.

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