Social capital is the overarching quality of life consideration. It is about how communities function and live together. The Local Plan sets out policies relating to the historic environment and tourism, both of which are important aspects of the district’s offer.
Health and wellbeing/design
The importance of health and wellbeing as critical outcomes of sustainable development has increasingly been recognised over recent years. The link between planning (with particular reference to design) and health is crucial to ensuring healthy, sustainable communities. Accordingly, the Local Plan has regard to a range of recent health and wellbeing strategies, guidance, initiatives and toolkits:
- Northamptonshire Rapid HIA for Planning Tool and Guidance (August 2020)
- EMAQN Air Quality and Emissions Mitigation - Guidance for Developers (July 2020)
- Building for a Healthy Life: A Design Toolkit for neighbourhoods, streets, homes and public spaces (Homes England, June 2020)
- Northamptonshire Planning and Health Protocol (NCC, March 2020)
- Healthy Streets for London: Prioritising walking, cycling and public transport to create a healthy city (Transport for London, February 2017)
- Active Design: Planning for health and wellbeing through sport and physical activity (Sport England, October 2015)
Detailed guidance and information about good design is provided through various specialist Supplementary Planning Documents. Other policies such as the Highway Authority’s Parking Standards also have implications for delivering well designed sustainable developments.
The Local Plan includes policy regarding both designated and non-designated heritage assets. These are supported by local strategies and evidence; e.g. Conservation Area Appraisals/ Management Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and/ or Village Design Statements.
- Local List of Heritage Assets (Planning Policy Committee, 22 July 2013, Item 7)
- Neighbourhood Planning
- Conservation Areas
- Village Design Statements
Tourism is a priority sector for the Council, as set out in the Economic Growth, Tourism and Regeneration Strategy 2017-2020 (May 2017). This was also highlighted through the various Plan-making workshops (2017-18).
Education and training
Through the earlier draft Local Plan consultations (2017-19), the Department for Education (DfE) highlighted a particular need for a new Special Educational Needs (SEN) school, for the Wellingboroough/ Rushden area. The DfE identified a suitable location to the East of Higham Ferrers (Chelveston Road), which it sought to promote through the Local Plan.
The new school development at Chelveston Road, east of Higham Ferrers, is being delivered in accordance with relevant Government policy; supported by an appropriate evidence base:
- Sequential Site Assessment (Department for Education/ Cushman & Wakefield, January 2020) and Sporting masterplan (December 2019) (Planning Policy Committee, 20 January 2020, Item 6, appendices 1-3)
- Securing developer contributions for education (Department for Education, November 2019)
- Planning for schools development (Communities and Local Government, August 2011)