Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans

Historical North Ascot is divided North to South by the border between two local authorities, Bracknell Forest Borough Council (BFC) and The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). The border has moved. Part of the border between Winkfield Parish and Sunninghill & Ascot Parish stretches from Forest Road, down the middle of New Road, then follows Blackmoor Stream, and crosses London Road to touch the eastern tip of Englemere Pond.

Unitary Authorities

If you pay council tax or business rates, it is your local authority to whom you make these payments. There are 300+ billing authorities in England that collect council tax and business rates. These include 30+ London borough councils, 30+ metropolitan boroughs, 50+ unitary authority councils and 200+ non-metropolitan district councils. A unitary authority is an administrative division of local government established as an alternative to a two-tier system of local councils. In Berkshire today, unitary authorities include Slough, Reading, West Berkshire, Wokingham, The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM) and Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) which has the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.


In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration.

In RBWM, civil parishes include Sunninghill & Ascot Parish and Sunningdale Parish. In BFC, civil parishes include Binfield, Bracknell, Warfield, Winkfield and Sandhurst. Winkfield Parish is the largest parish in England.

If you live in Fernbank Road, Blackmoor Wood, Prince Andrew Way, Jubilee Avenue or next to Londis, you pay your council tax to BFC from which Winkfield Parish gets a share of that money to improve local amenities.

If you live in Gainsborough Drive, Sutherland Chase, Burleigh Road, Kennel Ride or opposite Londis, you pay your council tax to RBWM from which Sunninghill & Ascot Parish gets a share of that money to improve local amenities.

Local Authorities and Local Plans

Each Local Authority (e.g. BFC, e.g. RBWM) must have a Local Plan which shows how the Local Authority plans to meet future housing and infrastructure needs. The Town and Country Planning Regulations 2012 determines the stages that Local Plans must go through consultations and independent examinations. Regulation 18 explores a number of different policy options, usually has 'open' questions and a wider remit for input during the consultation phase. As the plan-making process continues, the number of policy options are refined and become more focussed. Once the draft Local Plan is at the Regulation 19 stage it contains specific policies.

Neighbourhood Plans

Each Local Authority may contain a number of neighbourhoods which may have a Neighbourhood Development Plan. Unlike Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans are not compulsory. Many parts of the country do not have Neighbourhood Plans. Binfield Neighbourhood Plan is an example that matches the boundary of a single parish i.e. Binfield Parish. The Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale Neighbourhood Plan (AS&S NP) is an example that includes the boundaries of two parishes, Sunninghill & Ascot Parish and Sunningdale Parish. Once adopted, a Neighbourhood Plan formally accompanies the Borough Local Plan, thereby influencing the interpretation of strategic planning policy. The AS&S NP and the Binfield NP are examples of adopted Neighbourhood Plans.