Referendums in three parishes near Northampton to vote on plans for how their areas should develop

Overstone, Hackleton and Clipston residents will be asked to go to polling stations in December

By Jack Duggan
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:46 pm

Residents in three parishes near Northampton will be asked to vote on plans for how their areas should grow in a referendum in December.

West Northamptonshire Council's cabinet agreed to put the Overstone, Hackleton and Clipston neighbourhood development plans to a vote at its meeting on Tuesday (October 12).

Polling stations will be open on Thursday, December 2 - if the majority vote 'yes', then the unitary council is required to 'make' and adopt the plan.

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West Northamptonshire Council's headquarters at One Angel Square in Northampton

The neighbourhood development plan would then be consulted whenever a planning application for that parish is considered by the unitary authority.

If the referendum is unsuccessful then the council takes no further action and the parish councils would have to decide what to do next.

Rebecca Breese, the council's cabinet member for planning, said at the meeting: "Each of the neighbourhood plans are entirely separate with distinct issues and ambitions.

"But the purpose of the cabinet report tonight is to allow the three to move forward to the final stage in their journeys.

"Rather than repeat it three times, I've grouped them together while recognising their individual distinctiveness."

All three neighbourhood developments plans have been created by the parish councils in consultation with residents to decide where future homes and infrastructure should go.

An independent examiner concluded the plans have met all the legal requirements, subject to some modifications, and should proceed to referendums.

Councillor Jonathan Harris asked whether other parishes without neighbourhood development plans should create their own or not.

Councillor Breese said she supports them but thinks the unitary council's local plan part two should be robust enough to protect communities while Councillor David Smith said they are beneficial.