Public hearing on major West Northamptonshire Council planning policy to begin next week

Anyone interested can watch the penultimate stage of the bill's development either online or in person

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 5:21 pm
While Covid-19 safety will limit in-person attendance, anyone can stream the hearing on YouTube.

A major West Northamptonshire planning policy document is set to receive a public hearing next week, which could affect everything from land allocations for development to how planning applications are determined.

The hearing is the penultimate stage in the development of the Northampton Local Plan Part 2, which allocates land for development, areas to be protected from development and the policies used to determine planning applications in those areas.

Planning inspectors have already laid out areas of the draft plan which they believe require further discussion. During the hearing they will listen to statements from a range of interested parties, including West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), Home Builders Federation and Homes England.

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Some of the topics to be discussed have been laid out in a provisional hearings programme and are as follows:

- On Tuesday November 16, the hearing will begin at 9:30am with discussions of procedural and legal requirements, followed by a 2:00pm session discussing whether the provision for housing development is effective and justified, and consistent with strategic policies and national policy, as well as whether housing policies are clear, justified and consistent with national policy, and how effective they will be.

- On Wednesday November 17 and Thursday November 18 the hearing will likely discuss housing applications, with Friday November 19 held as a reserve session or used for site visits.

- On Tuesday November 30 and Wednesday December 1 discussions will focus on whether the individual policies are clear, justified and consistent with national policy.

Following the hearing, the planning inspector will consider the statements made during the public examination and deliver his findings in due course. Those findings could call for modifications to the plan, after which the final draft will be presented to Cabinet, then the full Council for final adoption.

While members of the public have been told they are welcome to observe, capacity will be limited due to Covid safety measures and only those who have taken part in previous stages of the Local Plan Part 2 and who have registered to speak, may do so.

The hearing will however be livestreamed via the WNC YouTube channel.

Anyone wishing to attend the Guildhall in person will be able to view the hearings livestreamed in the Holding Room.