Category Archives: Latest News

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.


Latest News July 2nd 2018

Meeting with our consultant, Michael Wellock.

The Steering Group will be meeting with our consultant, Michael Wellock on Monday July 23rd, to discuss how the Public Event on June 2nd has impacted on our thinking about the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, to get up to date with recent changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, and the possible effects of other changes that may impact on our work. We also expect to be given a list of tasks that will help towards the next stage in the evolution of the Plan.

Anyone who has contacted us wishing to volunteer to help with the plan is welcome to attend as an observer. This is a good way to find out how the steering group works. As we have a full agenda there will not be time to go over old ground so if you are observing you will need to make notes of anything you need explained and let us have your questions afterwards.

Following that meeting, we will assess what needs to be done and we will then contact the wider group of those wishing to help to establish how we can work together to achieve the tasks and move the Plan forward.

In the meantime, we would like to welcome you to the site, where you can catch up with everything that has been done so far and see what is coming up. Remember you can contact us and make comments through the website or by contacting our Clerk, Gill Wells.


Roy Hawkesford

2nd July


Next Steering Group Meeting April 9th

The next meeting is at the Village Hall in Hackleton on April 9th at 19:00.

The meeting will be looking at the publicity material which has been developed by a sub group for the Event on June 2nd, and make decisions on leaflets and leaflet drops.

It will also look at all the other outstanding tasks needed to get preparation for the event under way identified by the other sub-group reporting.  These tasks will need to be allocated to people to get done over the next few weeks.

Neighbourhood Plan Progress Summary 27/2/2018

By Cllr Roy Hawkesford

Neighbourhood Plan Update
27th February 2018

As you would expect, there has been a lot of activity over the past month and, according to our consultant, we are almost ahead of schedule… How can that be? We have been working hard to provide information for the development of the Plan – which is good – but we are at the point where we should engage fully with everyone about what we are working towards and seeking their thoughts on this and what they would like to see included.

Going Public!

As a result of this, the steering group will meet again on March 19th to decide how we will engage with the community. We will utilise material we have put together for the Draft Plan to make a 4/5 page more user-friendly presentation that can be circulated to every household in the parish. We will have to use professional assistance with layout and printing. We will then distribute the leaflets by hand. The leaflet will state that there will be times that the community can visit Hackleton Village Hall and/or Horton House CC to meet with us, see plans of the parish and the villages, ask questions and provide feedback. We will make it clear that their opinions are important to us. (We do not want to convey the impression that everything has already been decided… which it hasn’t!) Finally, we hope to have these meetings in April.

Since our last PC meeting, the grant has been confirmed. As this tranche of money has to be used by the end of March, we will be seeking to pay consultant’s fees and other expenditure associated with the Plan. Because we have to be rigorous in showing the awarding body how we are spending the money, we would ask the PC that we carry out our work without having to wait until the next PC meeting for approval. After all, we have only one month now in which to use the grant! I am hopeful that invoices for work being undertaken will be in place to meet the requirement of the awarding body. This will engage all concerned over the next few weeks.

Housing Needs

The assessment of housing needs is proving to be contentious. SNC has a preferred questionnaire which could be sent to every household, which would provide feedback from which housing needs (what kind of housing, etc) could be assessed. There are arguments for and against doing this, given that SNC already has a 10 year land stock. I will try to explain this at the meeting, but it’s not as straightforward as it might appear.

Such a survey would have a shelf life of only three years and would have to be undertaken again. It might also provide a hostage to fortune for developers.

One thing we are agreed on, together with SNC, is that the preferred option for any additional building should take place within village confines. We might choose to identify areas for housing outside those confines, but only where there is a perceived need.

I have to say that this is the part of the Plan, which was always going to be most contentious and woolly. SNC prefer the idea of the LOAN (locally objectively assessed needs) saying that it is more robust because they can defend it against developers. The alternative view is, as I said earlier, that it is unnecessary as SNC has ample provision in the pipeline.

Green/Open spaces and Wedges

Identifying these is, again, not a simple task. They are described in SNC documents, but interpretation of them on the ground is fraught with difficulty. It’s easy, say, to identify Longlands Meadow as a green space; it’s not s easy to identify green wedges. Ellie says they should be defensible, so we should keep them focussed. I think it’s not too difficult to identify wedges between Horton and Hackleton, Hackleton and Piddington, and between the latter two and Preston Deanery. We might need to be more creative to identify one on the far side of Preston Deanery – to clearly separate Preston Deanery from Wootton Fields.

Also, there is the issue of Wootton (St George’s) Fields. Because this is part of the expansion for the Borough, our responsibility and influence in that area is unclear. It is, however within our Neighbourhood Area, and I will argue that we should continue to consider that part of our parish formally within our Plan.


Maz Woolley has spent a lot of time to produce and populate a discrete website for the NP, which will come into its own once we go public.


Ellie Gingell attended an informal meeting with Anna, Bob Atkinson and myself to talk through everything described above. She is very helpful and has considerable relevant experience. Also she is an employee of SNC, so she will have a set of views which represent their thinking. I have no problem with this; ultimately it’s up to us, under Michael’s guidance, how we present our draft Plan. On the other hand, there is little point in presenting something that we know will be rejected. Working together and seeking convergence seems to me the best policy.

The Steering Group met with Michael on February 26th; Anna will circulate minutes in due course.

Finally, I hope I have conveyed the following:

  • We have a committed, thoughtful and hard-working steering group.
  • There are many complex issues to deal with.
  • A lot has been achieved already.
  • We have excellent professional support.
  • We are committed to the task, to engaging the community, and to achieving the goal of making a successful Neighbourhood Plan.