Using the Neighbourhood Plan layers

Using the Neighbourhood Plan layers


We know how important Neighbourhood Plans are to a Local Council, and we know how much better they are when maps are included during the drafting and consultation phases. That's why we've taken learning from user feedback and neighbourhood plan consultant professionals to create a new set of pre-built layers in Parish Online.

These layers show up automatically in your account, and by default will be blank. They're there ready for you to use when you begin your Neighbourhood Plan.

Note: we highly recommend engaging with a neighbourhood planning consultant who uses Parish Online. They know all the legal elements and know how to help you draft a great plan.

Usage of the Layers

We've pre-defined the layer structure and the styling for each layer. This has the benefit of being able to use it straight away, but has the downside of not being able to tweak the layers yourself. We're very open to feedback on improving the layers as these improvements will help everyone. We'll run feedback by neighbourhood plan professionals to ensure they're appropriate and correct.

Data Sharing

To Local Authorities

By default, your Neighbourhood Plan layers will not be available to Local Authorities, but on request we can make these layers available to them directly into their GIS software.

Between Local Councils

By default, your Neighbourhood Plan information is private to your account, with three exceptions:
  1. Biodiversity Corridors
  2. Biodiversity Corridors (polygons)
  3. Cycle Routes
We have set these layers so that any features you add will be visible to other councils using Parish Online. We chose these three because it makes a lot of sense to marry up your plans with neighbours. For example, there's no point creating a biodiversity corridor up to your council boundary if the neighbouring council is going to put 1,000 homes on their side. The hope is your draft plans become complementary to neighbouring plans.

Note: this is an experiment. We may reduce sharing, or open it up further. Let us know what you think.

What layers are included?

Assets of Community Value

Biodiversity Corridors

Biodiversity Corridors (Polygons)

Call for Sites Responses


Housing Allocation

Important Views and Vistas

Please note, this layer is both odd and brilliant at the same time. Read below to get a full understanding of how to use it
There are 5 columns of information to add into this layer to produce a viewshed, with 4 of them being required:

To add a viewshed:
  1. Click a single point on the map where you want the viewshed to originate
  2. (Optional) add a Name or ID to place a label over the originating point
  3. Add a direction in degrees. We recommend using 0-360 as values but this can be any positive or negative number. e.g. entering 90 will point the viewshed due East. 0 will point the viewshed due North. 290 will point the viewshed West North West (ish). -70 will also point the viewshed West North West (ish).
  4. Add a distance in metres. This is how far the viewshed will project away from the originating point. e.g. 2000 will project the viewshed 2km.
  5. Choose a colour. There are preset colours to choose from. There's no current methodology on what to choose, so this is personal preference. There's an Outline one should you wish to save printer ink.
  6. Chose an Angle in degrees. This will represent how much of a spread the viewshed has. For example, 22 is a 22 degrees spread, so it will spread to 11 degrees each side of the direction angle, and will be a quite slim viewshed. 112 is a very wide spread viewshed.

Local Gaps

Local Open Spaces (Lines)

Local Open Spaces

Local Green Spaces (Lines)

Local Green Spaces (Polygons)

Plan Boundary

Renewable Energy Project Sites

Location for where best to put new local renewable projects.

Settlement Boundary Extensions

Recognised Village Envelope

Drainage Sites

Sewage Sites

Road Schemes

Cycle Routes


Many thanks to Maureen Chaffe and Jacqueline Veater for providing input to this Collection design. Please consider hiring them when starting your Neighbourhood Plan.
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