More than 50 people attended an inaugural launch meeting of the Waltham Abbey Neighbourhood Plan Group held by Waltham Abbey Town Council at Waltham Abbey Town Hall on Monday.
The plan will detail how local people - its residents and businesses - see the future of the whole of Waltham Abbey parish in the next 15-plus years.
Councillor Antony Watts, chairman of the town council's Neighbourhood Plan sub-committee, told the meeting that the town council had decided against working on separate Neighbourhood Plans for each part of the parish and instead a single Neighbourhood Plan would cover the Waltham Abbey parish - Waltham Abbey, Sewardstonebury, High Beach and Upshire.
He said: "The whole of the parish of Waltham Abbey is a right mixture (urban and rural) and it works, and it works in an extraordinary way so it's very, very important that we keep it as one Neighbourhood Plan."
He added: "The town council has been leading this and driving this but this is a Neighbiurhood Plan for Waltham Abbey, by Waltham Abbey. It is not the town council's plan. The town council will be here to assist."
Councillor Sam Kane, who was chosen as the acting chairman of the town's Neighbourhood Plan Group, said: "This isn't a short-term project.
"Depending on how much we take on it could take anything between one and two years."
The meeting discussed various possible sub-groups which could form part of the overall Neighbourhood Plan Group - Housing, Tourism, Infrastructure funding, Local economy - business and retail, Education, Transport and Leisure.
The meeting decided to wait until after Epping Forest District Council publishes its Draft Local Plan later this month before progressing on deciding on membership for the sub-groups.
A further meeting to progress arrangements will be held by the town council in November.