Following the independent examination of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (JCS), the Planning Inspector has now completed his report.
The report, received by the Joint Planning Unit (JPU) on 22 June, concludes that the JCS is 'sound' and legally compliant, subject to a number of modifications.
The new JCS will provide clear policy guidance for future development proposals across North Northamptonshire (the Districts/Boroughs of Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire) up to 2031 as well as identifying the main sites to deliver the required levels of development.
In summary, in East Northamptonshire, the Plan sets out:
- Strong urban design principles to ensure high quality, well-connected development.
- The amount of new housing required to meet East Northamptonshire’s needs.
- A more positive and flexible approach to economic development, delivering new job opportunities through a positive approach to employment growth.
- A new retail strategy which recognises the importance of the Rushden Lakes, a new retail, leisure (including cinema) and tourism destination located in the Nene Valley, alongside the A45, to the west of Rushden.
- An opportunity at Deenethorpe airfield for an exemplar new “garden village” including around 1250 new homes.
- Rushden’s identification as a Growth Town in recognition of local ambitions which will provide the potential for the town to deliver significant new homes and jobs, including through a Sustainable Urban Extension of around 2500 new homes and employment and infrastructure to the East of the town.
- Measures to mitigate the impact of new development on the nature conservation importance of the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area.
- Policies to recognise the importance and opportunities provided by “green infrastructure” in the Nene Valley and the Rockingham Forest.
The Inspector’s report was considered by the North Northamptonshire Joint Committee on the 14 July, when the JCS was formally adopted.
Councillor Steven North, Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said:
“This is an exciting time for East Northamptonshire. The Plan places great emphasis on urban design principles as well as providing a strong recognition of the special natural environment of the area in meeting future needs. I’m looking forward to seeing the developments at Rushden East and Deenethorpe Airfield take shape, guided by the new JCS.”
The Head of the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit, Andrew Longley, stresses the value of the JCS:
“Having an up to date Local Plan is very important as it provides the starting point for considering planning applications, gives certainty to the private sector in investing in high quality development, supports investment in infrastructure, and helps the councils to resist speculative development proposals that are contrary to the Plan.
"The adoption of the JCS will ensure that we meet the Government’s target for all authorities to have an up-to-date Local Plan by 2017. It should also allow rapid progress to be made by the councils and Neighbourhood Planning Groups on their more detailed Plans.”
The report together with the Inspector's recommended Main Modifications can be viewed online.