An updated Local Plan for Northampton setting out how the town will grow over the next decade will go out to consultation for the public, after being approved by the borough council’s cabinet.
Part 2 of the Local Plan will determine how Northampton grows and develops up until 2029. It includes a focus on the regeneration of Northampton town centre and making policy provisions for Greyfriars, Castle Station, Four Waterside, St Peter’s Way, Ransome Road and the University of Northampton’s Waterside Campus.
It also contains a supportive policy for hotel growth in the town centre and Enterprise Zone, and outlines how many new homes need to be built up until 2029.
As well as identifying where new development will go, the Local Plan Part 2 would also set out policies to protect open space, green infrastructure, heritage and environmental assets.
Part 2 of the Local Plan would replace the remaining saved policies from the Northampton Local Plan (1997), and consider whether some of the policies of the Central Area Action Plan need to be updated.
It will also complement the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (WNJS) Local Plan (Part 1) which was adopted in 2014, which also sets out its vision up until 2029.
An officer report to cabinet members states: “Sufficient capacity has been identified to meet the WNJCS requirement for the provision of 18,870 dwellings in Northampton from 2011 to 2029.
“However, it should be noted that the housing trajectory set out in the Local Plan is different from the proposed housing delivery trajectory set out in the WNJCS. The delivery rates envisaged in the Core Strategy for Northampton in this period are very high – for example 1,544 dwellings in 2018/19 and 1,278 dwellings in 2022/23.
"In practice, housing completion rates in Northampton have been slower than the rates set out in the Core Strategy and are predicted to continue in the same way for the first few years of the plan period.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Markham, speaking at the cabinet meeting last night (April 3) said: “The one comment I have that does concern me is that it’s forecasting the housing numbers, and if you read the report it refers to the Joint Core Strategy housing numbers and the existing Local Plan housing numbers. And we have failed to deliver those houses over that time.”
But deputy cabinet member for planning Councillor James Hill said: “Ultimately we are somewhat at the mercy of developers, and we can only try and encourage them, and that’s what this document is trying to do.”
Head of planning Peter Baguley added: “We do have discussions with developers about why they can’t deliver certain things, and sometimes it’s simply out of our control.”
Now that the draft submission has been approved by cabinet, it will go out for a six week consultation for members of the public, likely to start on May 1 and close on June 14.