Neighbourhood Planning

Market Harborough Neighbourhood Forums

As there is no Parish or Town Council in Market Harborough the residents and persons that live and work in the Town must set up a Neighbourhood Forum as the Qualifying Body to apply for designation of the Neighbourhood Area.

View an Interactive map of Market Harborough showing the ward boundaries and Town Centre Masterplan boundary.

The point of contact for the Forums is through  for general advice about the Neighbourhood Planning process.

It is the responsibility of the Forum and any sub committees formed to look at specific subject areas, to produce the Neighbourhood Plan and submit the Plan to Harborough District Council for Independent Examination and Referendum. Harborough District Council does not control the suibject and policy areas that the Qualifying Body and community chooses to tackle in the neighbourhood plan. 

Further information about Neighbourhood Forums.

To meet legal requirements, a neighbourhood forum must have:

  • an express purpose of promoting or improving the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of an area that consists of or includes the neighbourhood area concerned;
  • purpose that reflects the character of the area in general terms;
  • a membership open to people living and working in the area, and elected members for the area (reasonable steps must be taken to secure at least one of each);
  • a minimum of 21 members from the above groups;
  • a membership drawn from different places in the area and different sections of the community.

Neighbourhood forums must have a written constitution and Forums need to have a legal structure; they could be, for example, an unincorporated body or a more formal Community Interest Company (CIC).

An unincorporated body may not apply or hold the funding available from Locality, may not employ people or enter into contracts. A CIC may apply for and hold funds and may enter into contracts, but may attract additional costs such as for accountancy fees.

Locality states in their guidance notes:

Do you need a fundholder (accountable body)? If you are a neighbourhood forum/prospective neighbourhood forum, which has not been incorporated and you are applying for a grant, it is important that you identify an eligible organisation as the ‘accountable body’ to hold the grant for you.
The accountable body will receive the funding from the Neighbourhood Planning programme into their bank account. They will hold and administer the grant funds on behalf of the unincorporated neighbourhood forum throughout the grant period and are legally responsible for the proper use and management of those funds.
For more information about this role and which types of organisations are eligible please read the Accountable Body Guidance notes.
We do not encourage neighbourhood forums to incorporate just to hold the grant. This will normally incur legal and financial costs such as audit fees. We will ask for details of your fundholder as part of the application process

The Neighbourhood Forum is the Qualifying Body and is the only entity that may apply for designation of the Neighbourhood Area in Market Harborough. A Neighbourhood Forum and neighbourhood area application may be made at the same time, and will be subject to a 6 week publicity period by the Local Authority.

If you have any further questions about this matter or contacts for others who may be interested, please contact via email. ( ).