Category Archives: Latest News

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.

Regulation 16 Consultation Complete

South Northants Council (SNC) has now completed the consultations on the Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan that they are obliged to do under Regulation 16 of the relevant planning legislation. If you wish to see the responses that were received please follow the following link

There you may find the version of the plan we submitted to SNC and the comments that they received.

The next step is for a suitable approved Planning Inspector to be engaged to carry out the next step of the plan approval process which is an examination of the plan, the representations made, and the process followed. The Inspector has to ensure that the plan is fully compliant with the Government’s National Planning Framework and that the policies and justifications are all appropriate and consistent.

This examination may take a few weeks as it is not a trivial task.

Once the examination is complete the Inspector will issue a report which may require changes to be made to the Plan which would need to be made before the plan becomes a final version. The final version will then be made available and SNC/WNC will arrange a referendum where residents in the Parish will get the opportunity to say Yes or No to the plan. If a simple majority of voters say Yes then the plan is ‘made’ and will apply to all planning applications made within the Parish from that point onwards with WNC obliged to take note of the provisions of the plan when making decisions on any planning applications within the parish.

The team hopes that we can publicise the final plan once the examination is over and before the referendum but with Covid restrictions still in place we may not be able to do this in person and may need to be creative about our approach to this.

What happens after the Regulation 16 Consultation Ends?

Roy Hawkesford, the Chair of our Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan Team, met virtually with Alan Munn of SNC on March 18th. SNC are still collecting representations and will continue to do so until the end of the official regulation 16 consultation period late in March. The SNC planning team will remain responsible for the plan although they will be operating under the new West Northamptonshire Authority name from April 8th.

Once R16 consultation ends the SNC/WNC Planning team will advertise for a qualified Planning Examiner. Our Neighbourhood Plan team will be consulted during the choice of Examiner and SNC/WNC will then appoint the Examiner. The Examination is expected to take about two weeks and the Examiner will consider our plan and representations made in the consultation. The Examiner will decide if there are any amendments needed to the plan to conform to Government planning policy and meet legitimate representations. If there are we may need to work with SNC/WNC Planning to make amendments to meet the Examiners requirements.

Once the final approved version of the plan exists SNC/WNC will organise a referendum within Hackleton Parish and parishioners will have the chance to vote for or against the plan. The Neighbourhood Plan team hope that will be able to put on an exhibition for residents to set out the plan and give people an opportunity to ask questions before they vote. However, that will be subject to the date of the Referendum and what Covid related restrictions apply at the time. In any event we hope to use the Parish Magazine and this web site to keep people informed before the referendum.

Regulation 14 Consultation Online ONly

Following the Government’s instructions issued yesterday, 23rd March 2020, we have decided to make the consultation online only for the remainder of the time it has to run.

We did investigate loaning plans to people at home but that would have broken the instructions issued by the Government, and would have risked passing on infection as we would have no adequate way of disinfecting the plan after each use. So we have had to abandon that initiative.

We have taken advice and the consultation based upon our web site is regarded as satisfying the requirements of Regulation 14. But if you should have any concern please email our Parish Clerk at or complete a contact form on our website

Stay Safe

Neighbourhood Plan Team

June Update

Our latest Steering Group Meeting was held on the 24th of June and minutes will be posted after they are approved at the next meeting. 

The meeting discussed the Clerk’s recommendation that we formalise the status of the team working on the neighbourhood plan. To do this we need to be a Committee working to the Parish Council. This would give the group the authority for independent decision making, and budget management, whereas technically Steering Groups can only advise a Parish Council. The Clerk is to present recommendations on the appropriate organisational steps needed.

To start this process off the Chair and Deputy for the Committee were proposed and seconded.

Chair:     Cllr Roy Hawkesford 

Deputy: Maz Woolley

The remainder of the meeting considered a set of questions from our Consultant. It was decided that these need to be worked on at our next working party meeting on the 5th July. Some of the points were discussed and sources of inspiration, like the SNC Design Guide, identified.

Carol Lloyd handed over a set of marked up maps with historical information on them so that they can be scanned and passed to Michael, our Consultant.

Maz Woolley showed that all the data from the walks has been input into individual spreadsheets for Hackleton, Horton, and Piddington. A set of analysis has then been done. This information backs up the Characteristics work that Roy Hawkesford has been doing. The next step is to decide what information, and in what format needs to be gathered from these sheets to illustrate Roy’s work. Again a matter for a working party meeting.

Work on views, protected settings and village separation all need to be updated and passed to the consultant again. 

We are still aiming at a completion of the initial draft plan and initiation of consultations over the summer months.

Next Meeting

Our next formal steering group meeting is on Monday 15th July at Hackleton Village Hall . Time to be announced.

Latest News December 2018

Latest News!

Our latest group meeting was held on Monday 10th December. Formal minutes will follow but the key subject for discussion was again feedback from the Chairman on the current situation on the Locality commissioned  Housing Needs Analysis and Site Review. We now have the draft Site Review but are still waiting for the Housing Needs Analysis as this is currently being revised for release of the final draft following comments by our other consultants. We hope to receive the revised draft before the start of 2019.

We looked at the structure of the plan and looked at how we can progress the work. A workflow chart was discussed and the next tasks allocated. A meeting will be held on December 21st to review how our plan will be structured and to complete the aims and objectives sections of the plan for review.

The meeting confirmed an intention to consult the parish again in 2019 when the Housing needs are clear and the potential sites established.  In the meantime the Chair of the committee will be organising contacts with the agents/owners of sites identified in the Locality study as suitable for development.

Latest News November 13th 2018

Formal minutes of this meeting will be issued later. This post is to give a general update to the parish on the topics covered at the meeting. Don’t forget that if you wish to raise any issues then you may use our contact form or email


Our latest group meeting was held on Monday 12th November. Formal minutes will follow but the key subjects for discussion were feedback from the Chairman on the current situation on the Locality produced Housing Needs Analysis and Site Review. It appears that the completed draft site review should be with us by the next meeting but we are not currently sure when the the HNA will be sent to us.

We looked at progress on some of the areas where we need evidence to underpin the plan, and the suggestions arising from a meeting with Ellie Gingell of SNC Planning. A flowchart of how we can organise our current streams of work to get us to the draft plan next year was examined as was some suggestions of how we structure the work and our the next steps we need to take at the meeting in December.

A discussion was held about when the next consultation should take place and whether it should focus on key topics or on all the areas of the plan. No conclusion was reached at this point other than a consultation is needed before we draft up the final plan for consultation.

Once we get interim reports on sites and housing needs talks with Land Owners are likely to take place.

Latest News – November 6th 2018

Our independent consultant provided by Locality to carry out site assessment visited the Parish at the end of October. He examined all the sites which have been put forward for development in the various calls for sites and also any where planning enquiries or applications have been made over the last few years. This involved examining the sites, taking photographs and copious notes. He will now return to base to complete the assessment work and will be sending us an interim report to consider in a few weeks time.

He has been working closely with Ellie Gingell of South Northants Council’s Planning Team and praised the support and assistance that she is providing to our Neighbourhood plan making efforts.

Meanwhile the independent consultants retained by Locality to carry out a housing needs assessment have been collecting detailed information on housing waiting lists, the SNC housing supply details, demeographics and all the things they need to calculate local housing need and our share of the overall SNC provision. We also hope to have their interim report shortly.

Whilst all this is going on the steering group continue to look at other aspects of the plan like biodiversity, important buildings and features, definitive characteristics of our village and countryside, and preserving its archaeology.

If you have any questions don’t forget we can be contacted at or by using the contact form on this site.

Latest News 25th September 2018

Latest News!

Work with our Consultants appointed by Locality to complete the Parish Housing Needs Assessment and Site Assessment is now underway.

The Chairman of the Parish Council, Roy Hawkesford, has spent a considerable amount of time ensuring that the Consultants have the right  contacts as well as the best, up to date, information to work with. Ellie Gingell, the South Northants Council (SNC) Planner with special responsibility for Neighbourhood Plans, has also been making sure that all the relevant information from SNC has been made available to the Consultants.  Early indications suggest that there is a housing need in the area, if only to meet the general housing requirement placed on SNC by the Government. Further work is needed by the Consultant to identify the nature of the demand and the number, and types, of housing units needed.

Roy and Ellie have also been working closely with the Locality Consultant carrying out Site Assessment. The Consultant has been working with SNC Planning Team to understand what areas of  land might be available to develop in and around the Parish. The Consultant has also been briefed on the applications and enquiries about development in the area that SNC has dealt with in recent years. At some point in the near future discussions with land owners may need to be undertaken.

Whilst this is going on other members of the team are carrying out work on the environment and protecting the character of the villages as well as attending meetings and reading other Local Plans to make sure that we fully understand what is required.

Our next meeting is at Hackleton Parish Hall on Monday 18th October at 19:00.

Latest News July 11th 2018


By Cllr Roy Hawkesford 

At our Open Day, on June 2nd, the case was made for additional housing in –and possibly around – our villages to keep them sustainable and to offer the opportunity for people to enter the housing market or to downsize. The evidence from people who attended the event and completed questionnaires reveals broad support for the case, with most of those in favour preferring new housing to be built within village confines.

There is also growing evidence that a Neighbourhood Plan that includes an acceptable level of land for new housing will be a more robust defence against inappropriate speculative development. The recently revised NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) and NCALC (Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils) firmly recommend allocating housing land, as “this is what the government is seeking to encourage you to do”.

Paragraph 80 of the NPPF says: “plans should identify opportunities for villages to grow and thrive”. The thrust is on providing more affordable housing in rural areas.

We have examined the fairest, most objective method of coming up with an assessment of housing needs in our villages that would be most likely to withstand unwanted attention from developers. The Government is providing £23 million, through Locality, for the development of Neighbourhood Plans. We are already in receipt of a grant towards our administrative costs from them. The good thing is that they also provide free Technical Advice on a range of topics, one of which is Housing Needs Assessment (HNA). We have now applied for Locality to carry out a housing needs assesment for us.

The HNA route is objective, but it means that we have to be responsive to their findings. We would then have to examine the various options available as to where these additional houses would go. Clearly, Infill was the biggest choice of those who completed the Questionnaire on June 2nd. If the number proposed was greater than could be accommodated by infill, we would have to consider locations outside the village confines.

If we are unable to undertake the task of identifying sites ourselves – from consultation with local landowners, for instance – then Locality also offer technical advice on Site Options and Assessment.

This is an important part of the Neighbourhood Plan. It will take time, of course, to undertake the assessment(s), but we can think of no fairer way to move forward. While this is taking place, there are several other aspects of the Plan that we can work on; it is not only about housing! It is about keeping the whole environment, making it a better place to live for everyone.