Cheshire East Council is offering grants to communities which want to create Neighbourhood Plans to give them greater local control over the scale and location of proposed developments.
The Council is inviting towns and parishes to apply for up to £7,000 to fund work needed to draw up their plans.
To be eligible, local councils’ plans must complement Cheshire East’s Corporate and Local Plans.
The Council believes that Neighbourhood Plans, set up under the Localism Act 2011, allow people to protect the characteristics they value in their own town or village.
Sandbach and Bunbury were the first parishes to publish their emerging Neighbourhood Plans.
Nineteen more parishes across the Borough have formally started the process and 50 parishes and town councils have expressed an interest in getting their own emerging plans in place.
Once community groups and local organisations have published a Neighbourhood Plan, there is a six-week public consultation exercise before it is adopted.
In some cases, the High Court has recognised the importance of Neighbourhood Plans and overturned planning appeals in favour of residents.
Residents and local councils can obtain more information about Neighbourhood Plans by visiting the Cheshire East web site at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning