Northamptonshire village plan to get council rubber-stamp after residents backing

Referendum said 'yes' to Ashton Neighbourhood Development Plan to help shape village's future

By Sol Bucknor, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:59 pm

A plan to help shape the future growth and protect the assets of a small village in south Northamptonshire was overwhelmingly backed by residents in a referendum.

The Ashton Neighbourhood Development Plan (ANDP) 2019-2029 received 117 votes in favour with just five against in the referendum held on May 6.

The plan is now due to go before tonight's (May 20) first annual council meeting of the new West Northamptonshire Council being held at Northampton Saints' Franklin's Gardens.

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Residents overwhelmingly backed the Ashton Neighbourhood Plan in a referendum

A report to the council recommends it notes the result and makes the Ashton Neighbourhood Plan so that it has effect as part of the statutory development plan for the area.

The referendum asked those taking part the question: “Do you want West Northamptonshire Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Ashton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

A report to the council states work on the plan started in November 2015 with designation of the Ashton parish as a neighbourhood plan area.

A steering group comprising parish councillors and residents was established to progress work on the plan.

With 153 houses, and about 400 residents, Ashton remains a small community compared with its larger surrounding village neighbours.

The key issues identified by the steering group for the plan were:

■ Management of future housing growth, where that growth should take place and the type and design of new homes

■ Management of key environmental assets in the neighbourhood area e.g. heritage assets, landscape, the area’s tranquillity and public views, protection and enhancement of key open spaces such as the village’s greens

■ Traffic and transport, in particular, speeding and limited access to public transport

■ Protection and enhancement of community facilities

■ Protection and enhancement of key recreation assets e.g. the play area and allotments

■ Support for appropriate levels and types of local business growth in what remains a rural area

Further informal consultation was conducted in late 2018 on an initial draft plan.

The ANDP states the steering group considered these key issues and identified a set of objectives.

They will be pursued to help achieve the overall aim of the plan of: 'helping to shape future growth and protect key social, economic and environmental assets.'

The objectives are: (1)to support and manage future housing growth within Ashton village (2)to support local business growth (3)to protect key open spaces (4)to protect community facilities (5)to protect key environmental assets (6)to improve access for all

The annual council meeting is due to start at 6pm.