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Development Plan documents

East Northamptonshire Local Plan Part 2

On 11 April 2016, the Council decided to start afresh, with the preparation of a new District-wide Local Plan Part 2.  This will replace remaining policies from the 2011 Rural North, Oundle and Thrapston Plan (RNOTP) and 1996 East Northamptonshire District Local Plan (DLP), where such policies have not been, or are being, replaced by an equivalent policy in a Neighbourhood Plan.

The Local Plan Part 2 was formally launched in January 2017. This was followed by a public consultation of the draft Plan (November 2018 – February 2019).  Further details are set out below.

Latest Stage

Representations received during the recent “focused changes” consultation (10th February – 23rd March 2020, inclusive) have now been collated and are available to view here.

Previous Stages

On 20 January 2020, the Planning Policy Committee reviewed and considered the final batch of representations submitted during the previous (November 2018 – February 2019) consultation. The Committee also agreed that the Council should consult on two additional development site proposals that were put forward during the draft plan consultation:

  • Land to the west of Rushden Lakes – development of 450 houses, employment related uses, a hotel and green infrastructure; and
  • Land between Newton Road and Chelveston Road (west of Moulton College), Higham Ferrers – development of a new 145 place secondary school for pupils with Special Education Needs (SEN) with associated access, facilities etc.

Further information can be found here.

1st draft Local Plan Part 2 consultation, November 2018 – February 2019)

The draft Local Plan Part 2 was published for a 6-weeks consultation, from 2 November – 17 December 2018, inclusive.  This consultation period was subsequently extended, to 18 February 2019.

Representations received during the draft Local Plan Part 2 consultation were reported to the Planning Policy Committee on 18 February 2019.  Representations received, together with the consultation documents, can be viewed through the links below:

The Council’s responses to representations were approved in stages; at various meetings of the Planning Policy Committee held between March 2019 and January 2020:

Stakeholder workshops, May 2017 – April 2018

The Regulation 18 consultation was followed by a series of workshops, for Members and representatives of Town and Parish Councils.  These took place, as follows:

  • May – October 2017 – Topic/ theme based Member workshops; reported to Planning Policy Committee, 27 November 2017 (Item 8)
  • November 2017 – January 2018 – Area focused (town centre/ urban area and rural area) Member workshops; reported to Planning Policy Committee, 19 February 2018 (Item 8)
  • February – April 2018 – Town and Parish Council Workshops; reported to Planning Policy Committee, 23 April 2018 (Item 9)

Summary feedback from these workshops (key issues and themes) was reported to the respective Planning Policy Committee meetings.  This, together with the Regulation 18 feedback, informed the development of policies and proposals for the draft Plan.

Preparation of the Local Plan Part 2 is an iterative process.  It is critical to maintain a clear evidence trail at all stages of the plan-making process, in order to demonstrate the evolution of the vision, outcomes, policies and proposals.

Regulation 18 consultation – January – April 2017

The initial stage in preparing the Plan involves consultation with a range of key consultees and stakeholders, in order to assess its scope (the range of themes and topics to be covered).

The process for Plan preparation, including the Local Plan Part 2, is set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. Consultation under Regulation 18 represents the first (statutory) stage in the process of preparing the Local Plan Part 2.  This specifically represents the “scoping” stage of the Plan process, where the Council is asking key stakeholders what the Plan ought to contain.

The Regulation 18 consultation took place over 6-weeks.  Comments were sought with regard to the following:

  • Regulation 18 consultation document – Provides background information regarding the emerging Local Plan Part 2, culminating in a series of questions for respondents, to inform representations.
  • “Call for sites” document – The online site submission form provides a continuous mechanism for landowners, developers or other third parties to put forward potential site specific proposals for possible inclusion within the Local Plan and/ or Neighbourhood Plans. The “Call for sites” document sets out what we already know about potential site specific proposals (e.g. location, landowner), while allowing further new site specific proposals to be promoted at an early stage in the Local Plan Part 2 process. A map of sites that are already known about is available at the above link.

It should be noted that, with the exception of existing development plan allocations listed in Table 1 of the “Call for sites” document, the identification of a site in no way implies support by the Council for it to be released for development.

  • Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report – Sustainability Appraisal is undertaken in parallel with the Local Plan Part 2 preparation process, under the 2004 Environmental Assessment Regulations 11 and 12.  These regulations incorporate the requirements of the European Union Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive.  The Scoping Report is the first stage in the Sustainability Appraisal process; later consultations for the draft Sustainability Appraisal report will be undertaken at each stage in parallel with further consultations for the Local Plan Part 2 itself.
  • Habitat Regulations Assessment Screening – Preparation of the Local Plan Part 2 must be undertaken in accordance with the 2010 Habitat Regulations 102 and 103.  The Habitat Regulation require an “appropriate assessment” to be undertaken; working with Natural England and the Wildlife Trust to assess the implications of the Local Plan policies or proposals for the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area (SPA)/ Ramsar site situated along the Nene Valley between Irthlingborough/ Wellingborough and Thorpe Waterville within the District.

The consultation was undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, as set out in the Statutory Regulation 18 Notice

This ran from Friday 27 January until Monday 13 March 2017 inclusive. Feedback from the Regulation 18 consultation was reported to the Planning Policy Committee on 3 April 2017 (Agenda Item 5)

Other Relevant Documents

The Local Plan Part 2 is guided by national planning policy and guidance, and is supported by evidence base documents.  Further information is available through the links below: