All posts by Maz Woolley

Neighbourhood Plan – MADE

The result of the Referendum on December 2nd was a ringing endorsement of Parish Council’s determination to increase wellbeing and to preserve the character of the villages and the surrounding landscape. In case you missed it, 346 votes were cast; 316 in favour and just 29 against. 91% vote in favour and just 9% against, in a 15.8% turnout which is pretty good for a local issue election.

The steering group would like to thank:

The Parish Council for supporting the development of the Plan from its inception in 2017 through to its conclusion; and the three clerks who have attended our formal meetings, taken minutes and undertaken tasks on our behalf, especially Alison Benson;

SNC/WNC for their support, contribution and commitment from day one, especially Alan Munn and, earlier, Ellie Gingell;

Kirkwells Consultants, especially Michael Wellock, for providing the framework for the finished Plan, for his constructive contribution and for his patience and endurance throughout;

Locality for the grant we received and for helping us with the Sites and Housing Needs Assessments;

Those who have assisted with publicity: The Village Hall, Carey Chapel, Hackleton Stores, The White Hart, The Spread Eagle, and especially Alan McDonogh  for help with design and printing posters, drafts of the Plan and other materials;

Members of the parish community who had any input into the process, gave us moral support and who attended the open sessions.

It was a long, challenging process during which we learned a considerable amount about the area in which we live. Through the Plan, we hope to share that knowledge and experience with you.

The Plan is not about how many houses will be built; it is about the quality and the appropriateness of any future developments. Importantly, it is about the whole environment, including biodiversity, wildlife, history and archaeology. People who have read the Plan tell us what an interesting and informative read it is, with lots of maps, diagrams and photographs to illustrate the content. It’s not as daunting as its length might suggest – and it has more pictures than War And Peace!

The journey starts here, in terms of our greater involvement with WNC on Planning. Our policies sit alongside those in the WNC Local Plan and we will have a greater say in our own future.

The Steering Group:

Roy Hawkesford (chair)

Jo Willmer

Carol Lloyd

Maz Woolley

The Neighbourhood Plan is made!

A referendum was held on 2nd December 2021 to decide if the Neighbourhood Plan for Hackleton Parish was to be used as part of the formal planning process by West Northamptonshire.

The results of the referendum were as follows:

316 voted yes (91%)

29 voted no (9%)

This now means that the neighbourhood plan will be used as well as the local plan and regional ones by Planners and Councillors when deciding upon planning applications in this area.

This plan covers the period up until 2029 when a new plan will be needed.

Final Version of Plan now Available!

The Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan has now been updated to reflect the Examiner’s report and recommendations. It has been made available by West Northants Council and may be viewed online on their website at:

This is the version of the plan that the referendum is to be held on on December 2nd 2021 at Hackleton Village Hall from 7AM until 10PM.

If you are on the register of electors for the Parish then you should receive notification of the referendum from West Northants Council.

WNC Confirm Referendum on Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan

At a Cabinet Meeting last Tuesday, 12th October 2021, West Northants Council (WNC) confirmed that a referendum on the Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan will take place.

All those on the Electoral Register for the area will be sent full details by West Northants Council by post, but key details confirmed by WNC Electoral staff are:

  • Voting will take place on Thursday December 2nd 2021
  • There will be a single polling station which will be at Dudley Winterbottom Memorial Hall, Chapel Lane, Hackleton, NN7 2AH
  • This polling station will be open from 7AM until 10PM

More Information

  • If you are not yet registered as a voter but wish to vote you need to register with WNC by 16/11/2021
  • If you wish to apply for a postal vote the deadline is 17/11/2021
  • If you wish to apply for a proxy vote the deadline is 24/11/2021

The referendum will ask you if you wish the Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan to be used to help decide planning applications within the Parish.

West Northants Council will provide details of where copies of the plan will be available for inspection and will also have all the documents which need to be made available by law on their website. We will add links to the documentation on the Council’s site here on when it is available.

How to see the Planning Examiner’s Report on our Neighbourhood Plan

The Examiner’s report is now available to read on the West Northamptonshire (South) Planning team’s planning portal (September 2021). Just follow the link shown below. You will find the final version of the report together with some of the discussion documents created after the draft report was submitted.

The Examiner has made many suggestions for change and these have generally been seen by the team as positive. Our Consultant is now working on creating the final version of the plan incorporating all the Exmainer’s suggestions.

The Examination is finished – Just waiting for the results!

The Examiner has now submitted his completed examination to West Northamptonshire Council (WNC). He has made a considerable number of recommendations for changes to be made to the plan submitted to him to ensure that it is consistent with national planning policy, and the higher level plans it must conform to like the Local Plan and West Northants Strategic plans. The Examiner has also made a number of constructive suggestions that will make the plan clearer and better suited to be used for planning purposes.

Once appropriate WNC will be posting the Examiner’s report on their planning portal and when we know that the documentation is there we will provide links from this website.

We now need to work with our Consultant to get the plan amended as recommended by the Examiner, and passed to WNC Planning Team. The WNC Planning Committee will then need to consider the final amended plan, the examiner’s recommendations, and the recommendations of their own Planners. Should they decide that all is in order they will allow their staff to organise a referendum within the Parish to decide if local residents are happy for the plan to be put in place.

Once we know when the referendum will take place we will be looking to offer opportunities to inspect the plan and ask any questions that they may have.

Working Party Meeting 6th August 2021

In attendance: Cllr Roy Hawkesford (Chair), Cllr Carol Lloyd, Cllr Jo Willmer, Maz Woolley

This meeting was called to answer a follow up set of questions raised by the Examiner and our Consultants response to them.

We considered our Consultants suggested responses to be entirely appropriate.

Two areas needed further discussion within the team. The first was the comments on Views and we decided that we needed to seek guidance from the Examiner as to whether his comments meant that views each needed a few words of explanation.

The second topic was the boundaries of two green spaces. Here although we thought we could identify one being referred too we were not sure about the other. Again we need to seek guidance on exactly which areas are of concern and then we can ensure that the final plan has boundaries clearly identified.

MW was tasked with writing up the suggested response to Examiner and RH will check this with our Consultant before it is passed to the Examiner via the Parish Clerk.

The Examination begins Now!

We’ve done all our work and now it is the turn of an independent examiner to review our Neighbourhood plan and make sure that it meets a number of criteria set by the Government in Town and Country Planning legislation.

West Northamptonshire (South) Planning Team have sent our plan and all the supporting information about consultations to the recently appointed independent examiner who will now spend some weeks undertaking an examination which will include a detailed examination of our plan, questioning the neighbourhood planning team where clarification is needed, examining our communications to date and any representations, and even visiting the parish where required to get a fuller picture of the impact of the plan.

Once the independent examiner has completed the review they will issue a report to West Northamptonshire (South) Planning Team who will then publish it. If the local planning authority is satisfied that the report complies with planning considerations then West Northamptonshire Planning will send the plan to a referendum within the Parish.

We will share the progress of the examination on this website as we are updated.

Chairman’s Report May 2021

There is little to report this month other than to confirm that, at the time of writing, the process of External Examination is proceeding. Alan Munn (WNC)  was in the process of finalising the contract with Examiner, Andrew Matheson, when we last spoke. Mr Matheson had stated that he expected the process to last four weeks, including any site visit he felt was necessary. My expectation would be that he will have completed the process by the time of the next Parish Council meeting, June 8th, but his report may not be available to us by then.

Any changes required to the Plan would then have to be made before the process moved on to Referendum. WNC will then organise the Referendum. Alan Munn has stated that we will be involved throughout the process; I have no reason whatsoever to doubt that, as communication between us has been excellent.

Roy Hawkesford
19th May 2021

Working Party Meeting – April 7th 2021

In attendance: Roy Hawesford (Chair), Cllr Jo Willmer, Cllr Carol Lloyd, Maz Woolley

Due to Covid restrictions his meeting was held virtually using Zoom.

RH presented the meeting a grid of responses to the Regulation 16 consultation recently carried out by SNC and explained the feedback from Alan Munn at SNC/WCC and our consultant Michael Wellock.

A response sent within time but to the Parish Clerk and not SNC by Historic England will be passed to WNC and has been included in our review of feedback.

We reviewed all the comments and made further comment ourselves where this is appropriate. RH to do a final tidy and update with policy reference number in Historic England Section. Team was unanimous in all the responses. This will be sent to our Consultant to check, and discussed informally with WNC (South) planning team before being formally submitted via the Parish Clerk.

The Neighbourhood Plan website was discussed and MW agreed to update it and to create a brief meeting record. MW also agreed to write a short article for the Parish Magazine.

The next step in the making of the plan will be the appointment of an examiner and the formal review of the plan, and responses.

Our review will be passed to the examiner alongside the original responses. It will also be available at some point in the area covering our Neighbourhood plan on the WNC South Northamptonshire area planning portal.

The referendum following the examination is highly unlikely to take place before early in June. A brief discussion was held about whether virtual sessions could be offered for questions instead of meetings at the village hall if lockdown has not finished before the referendum takes place. It was thought that more clarity on exactly Covid regulations and timetable is needed before we can plan any publicity meetings before referendum.

The meeting closed.