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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 – 13th January 2021

Attendees: Roy Hawkesford (Chair); Cllr Carol LLoyd, Cllr Jo Willmer, Maz Woolley

Meeting 10:00AM 13th January 2021 by Zoom

This meeting was to review the recently returned R16 documentation set. Roy reported that following issues raised by the team prior to the meeting he had spoken to Michael, our Consultant, and that he had confirmed that our list of corrections supplied in December 2020 had not been applied to the plan and that Michael would apply the amendments and return the documents again.

The team agreed that Michael had supplied the full set of documents needed, as set out in the SNC Local Plan guide, which once corrected, are suitable to give to the Clerk to pass to SNC. A further working party meeting will be set up for Monday 18th so that after checking the documents to be updated and returned by our Consultant they can be agreed as OK to pass to the Parish Clerk.

Chairman’s Report January 2021


January 2021

Following a hiatus since the last report, owing to the illness of our consultant, Michael Wellock, there was considerable activity in early December. Michael produced a draft of the Plan that included our amendments to the Appendix on biodiversity, a significant pillar of the Plan. The steering group then scrutinised the whole document for inaccuracies and clarification, but did not add new material relating to Policies that had already been agreed and which had been subjected to informal consultation, Regulation 14

Following a Zoom meeting to agree the changes we wished to make, our work was sent to Michael on December 15th and the amended Plan was returned to us on January 6th. The documents that comprise the Plan will duly be sent to SNC through the Clerk to the Parish Council. Once SNC receives it, it forms part of their Local Plan Part 2 and becomes their responsibility.

SNC will then check the document and, following any amendments they feel are required, forward it to the various external agencies. This is Regulation 16 (formal) Consultation. This process can last up to eight weeks. It precedes submission to the Examiner and, following that, the Referendum.

The Steering Group will be on standby throughout, though not directly involved until the Referendum which will involve some kind of presentation to encourage people to vote (positively) in favour of the Plan.

It has taken nearly four years and a lot of work to get to this stage in the process. As you will see from the previous paragraph, there is still work to be done in order to achieve our aim of getting the Plan to the final stages by May.

It has been a steep learning curve for the steering group members, but we have developed into a strong team, committed fully to the Plan and its contents. We hope you will be equally proud to own it.

Next Meetings:

13th January, 10.00: Steering Group meeting to confirm the procedure for submission of the Plan (Reg 16) to SNC.

19th January, 11.30: Formal meeting to confirm submission of the Plan and to outline the timeline of the stages that follow.

Roy Hawkesford
on behalf of the Steering Group,

6th January 2021

Working Party Meeting Monday 14th December

In Attendance: Roy Hawkesford [RH] (Chair), Cllr Carol Lloyd [CL], Cllr Jo Willmer [JW], Maz Woolley [MW] , Clerk to the Parish Council Alison Benson  {Clerk]

In order to comply with the currently imposed Tier Two requirements this meeting was held using Zoom.

This meeting was held to review all the individual comments from members of the team on three documents prepared for R16 consultation phase of the HPNP making. These had been prepared for us by our Consultant Michael Wellock:

  • R16 version of the Neighbourhood plan without the new Policy Maps at this point
  • Basic Conditions statement
  • SEA/HRA Screening

All team members had reviewed these documents in detail and felt that a number of changes are needed to the Plan to remove errors of wording/style as well as to reflect some of the changes that have occured in the last six months like the start of housebuilding on the Hardingstone side of the B526 in recent weeks. Changes to the other two documents were generally typos and layout issues rather than any change in content.

A discussion was held on the entry for the PIddington Green space. It was decided that the inclusion of the third field was to be dropped. This was because it was not an integral part of the green area to the South of Willoughby way being separated by a public footpath and we had less evidence of its flora and fauna. It was also not noted as part of the marked green space in the SNC produced Village Guide. As discussions have been held with the landowner of the two fields we feel are crucial to form the Piddington Green Space it was felt that the document could also be updated to reflect that as well as making sure the flora and fauna lists were updated to include the Great Crested Newts presence test etc.

MW to redraw the area and supply to Michael with apologies for more changes!

There were a few questions arising from these documents that will be passed to our consultant along with a slightly revised Introduction from our Chair.

A further document has been supplied by our Consultant for us to check which records the public consultation we have undertaken. This is also part of the pack of documents which need to be passed to SNC before the start of R16 Consultation phase. CL agreed to check that this was OK and let MIchael have a response if any were needed.

MW was actioned to produce a consolidated document reflecting the comment by comment analysis/discussion undertaken in the meeting. This was to consist of the response to each of three documents listed above. This was then to be passed to the Chair for checking and forwarding to our Michael, our Consultant.

The team noted that they needed to see the revised policy maps to complete the review.

It was agreed by the whole team that we now feel that Plan is now looking close to complete and reflects the large amount of work undertaken.

Neighbourhood Plan Report May 2020


Report from the Steering Group chairman

A lot has happened since the last report on 24th February. That report outlined the process of Regulation 14 Formal Consultation and what we were required to do. I can confirm that the process has been completed and has been reviewed by the Steering Group and our consultant, Michael Wellock.

Initially, we allowed eight weeks from the date of publication of the Reg 14 Draft, given that the Easter break would have come in the middle of that period; in the end we allowed a little more time because of COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, most respondents still left it until the end of period before sending their comments!

I can confirm that we did get a modest number of replies from statutory bodies, members of the public, a landowner and a property developer. All of the comments from the public were highly positive about the Plan. The landowner commented on the inaccuracy of a map, and that detail has now been corrected satisfactorily.

The property developer made an argument for the inclusion of the Oak Way site, but we believe that – following consultation with our consultant and SNC – we should not amend the Plan to accommodate his comments. We are not required to present a site, given the land bank and the terms of the WNJCS and SNC’s Local Plan. (N.B. SNC’s approval of the Larkfleet Homes planning application was for the same number of houses that we had originally proposed.)

We are now waiting for a decision from SNC on whether or not we can proceed with the next stage, Regulation 16, purely online – because of the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak. We aren’t anticipating an adverse response, but SNC are checking the legality of this. Other Local Authorities have proceeded purely online.

You may be aware that all Neighbourhood Plan Referenda have been put back until May 2021. While there is no rush to proceed, however, the various stages of the process take some months to complete. We would like to proceed to Reg 16 – at which point SNC formally takes our Plan forward – as soon as we are ready. We will be at that stage within a few weeks. We are still working on important environmental aspects, but all other amendments following Reg 14 have been incorporated.

Roy Hawkesford

May 19th 2020

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

Plan Inspection Locations

Unfortunately the Government’s instructions issued on 20th March 2020 in an attempt to reduce the rate of spread of the Coronavirus will shut many businesses and public facilities. This in turn means that most of the locations where hard copies of the Neighbourhood Plan documents were lodged are now shut.

The locations that are currently open where you may inspect the plan are:

  • Towcester Library – Moat Lane, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 6AD (confirmed open 21/3/2020)
  • Hackleton Stores, Hackleton

For those who have internet access we urge you to review the plan and make any representations on our web site at This has the full copy of the plan and supporting evidence in pdf form as well as an online form to make representations.

If you know of anyone who wishes to review the plan and is unable to see it at one of the locations listed above, or read it online. They may contact the Clerk to the Parish Council, contact details may be found here. We will then try to make a plan available to them to review in some way.

Drop-in Sessions Cancelled

Having reviewed the Government’s latest advice we have decided that we have to cancel the drop-in sessions planned during the Regulation 14 consultation period.

If there is anyone who cannot review and comment online, or by visiting one of the locations that the plan is on display, then they should contact the Parish Clerk, contact details here, and we will try to make an arrangement for them to see the plan.

We apologise for any inconvenience but the circumstances are exceptional.

Working Group Meeting November 29th 2019

Attendees: Roy Hawkesford (Chair), Cllr Carol Lloyd, Maz Woolley

Apologies: Cllr Jo Willmer

It was confirmed that the Parish Council had supported the recommendation that we withdraw the allocation of land adjacent to Oak Way in the Neighbourhood Plan following SNC granting planning permission for 21 affordable houses to be built by Larkfleet Homes at Lyne Walk. RH has informed our Consultant to amend plan on that basis.

Following the meeting with Dr Garry Campion an amended table format for non-heritage assets was presented by MW along with backing information from Historic England. It was accepted by the meeting.

Each team member present was allocated two items in the table to update to the new format to see what sort of information we may be missing. It was agreed that we may need some help on some of the items where the panel is not familiar with them. The updated entries are to be completed before the next working party meeting.

The Mapping issue raised by SNC will be managed by our Consultant once SNC provide the latest version of their documents.

MW suggested that the SNC issues over the Green Corridors may be best dealt with by meeting with them to clarify the issues and understand their concerns rather than by guessing what they need us to do. RH to contact SNC to see if that can be arranged.

The next working party meeting is to be arranged.

Working Group Meeting – November 1st 2019




The main purpose of the meeting is to analyse the feedback on the Draft Plan received from the Parish and South Northants Council. We also reviewed the impact of SNC approving a village extension of 21 homes at the top of Lyme Walk.

The community feedback received was generally very encouraging with supportive statements being in the majority.

South Northants response was generally fairly encouraging but leaves some further work to be done in a number of areas to address their concerns.

Housing –

  1. SNC are concerned about the evidence of demand for affordable dwellings.
  2. There is a chance that following the Larkfleet Development’s approval  by SNC (31/10/2019) that any needs survey may prove that there is not enough demand for a development of Oak Way to SNC methodology.
  3. Even if demand was acceptable then Francis Jackson would look to do around 50% affordable only, as suggested by their response to plan.
  4. Larkfleet development is 11 Social housing units and 10 in other affordable categories providing more affordable dwellings than a 50% Market value property extension to Oak Way would.
  5. The meeting was unimpressed by the fact that SNC were demanding that we proved the need for Oak Way extension by their methodology when they gave Larkfleet planning permission with no valid HNA.
  6. The meeting unanimously decided that incurring further costs for a HNA acceptable to SNC which may not be returned by enough people to be significant, and which may merely prove that the demand is not there by SNC standards, was not an acceptable way to proceed.
  7. The meeting unanimously agreed that the allocation of land to the west of Oak Way in the draft Neighbourhood Plan was to be withdrawn and would not be included in the formal plan submission
  8. The meeting noted that Francis Jackson’s response indicated that they felt that they could go ahead with Oak Way using the same NPPF exception that Larkfleet used whether we allocated land or not.
  9. The meeting agreed that the publicising of the withdrawal of the allocation needs to be explained to the public and the fact that under the existing rules a 100% affordable exception development would probably be passed by SNC. So this lack of allocation  does not mean that there will be no development just that it would have to be all affordable to be treated as an exception.
  10. ACTION – RH to write to Parish Council explaining the reasons we have identified for the withdrawal of the land allocation in the next version of the Plan and seeking their support for this important change.

Other Changes needed following consultation –

  1. The plan needs reviewing by Michael and points raised by SNC in housing section addressed by re-writing it to remove allocation of site – ACTION MW to pass need onto Michael with amended plan.
  2. It is Horton House Cricket Club and not Horton Cricket Club this needs changing – ACTION MW to update plan where possible and alert Michael in case maps need changing
  3. Sansome Close corner Great Lane #7 is 1950s map mod needed ACTION MW to supply to Michael. Also need to sort out the top of Brafield Road in Horton some wrong periods allocated. ACTION Carol to provide update and MW to provide information to Michael for him to do the changes.
  4. CNDP2/8/7  is on a key on green spaces map and is not in the document is this HNPDP2? ACTION MW to add to list of updates for Michael
  5. ACTION MW to supply revised outlines of the main green space allocated in Piddington
  6. ACTION RH – mail to Michael Clark to pass on public comment on Secondary Schools as outside planning  matters
  7. ACTION CL – To draw attention of Parish Council to the community aspirations that are Parish Council matters
  8. ACTION MW – to inform Michael that there are two figure 3’s. The second SNC have complained about readability of legend – can this be prepared to be printed at A3 as a fold out? Or are there any other options??
  9. ACTION MW – to draw Michaels attention to SNC comments on 5.4,5.12, 5.14 and 5.18. As the whole section will need re-writing anyway due to removal of site allocation can any SNC comments remaining valid be addressed.
  10. ACTION MW – Ask Michael to address SNC confusion over green area allocation by making clearer in document
  11. ACTION RH – To contact SNC and request clarification about what they are referring to when referring to corridors as wedges.
  12. If it is our green corridors then SNC need to meet with us to be shown rationale behind the corridors and to understand that these are not ‘wedges’ where no development is permitted, except in so far as they contain areas of scientific interest or areas identified by the Wildlife Trust as of importance. They are areas of sensitivity where any development will need to ensure that a natural corridor is maintained even if that means some diversions or other schemes to ensure maintenance of a corridor. ACTION: RH to arrange SNC discussion if they are referring to our green corridors
  13. SNC Conservation Officer seems to take a not invented here approach… ACTION RH arrange for SNC to clarify exactly what is meant by response. A discussion of each of the non-designated assets and evidence required is needed or a category description SNC are happy to accept.
  14. SNC Conservation comments on ridge and furrow. ACTION MW To ask Michael to consider if we need to identify areas of ridge and furrow as non-designated heritage assets rather than green space?
  15. ACTION MW to ask Michael to address inconsistencies between HNDP9 and HNDP4
  16. ACTION MW to ask Michael to add  a list of listed buildings in the Parish in the appendices as the lack causes confusion to the public


The community made several comments on the lack of recreational areas for small children and a lack of facilities for adults too. A key point in discussion is the recreation field’s usefulness being compromised by restricted access during school hours and when it is use for Football matches. When we started this process the MUGA was seen to be the major PC initiative in this area but since then it has become bogged down with legal issues and it will not be going ahead in the earlier part of the plan’s life. Indeed even if it went ahead it might still be affected by the School constraints

Recreation areas It is clear from discussions that the community has an aspiration for an area with play equipment for children accessible during the daytime even in school term. ACTION MW to ask Michael how best we incorporate this. We would also wish to have an ambition for some Adults recreation equipment again accessible even when school is in session.

Parish Spine Action MW Correct Wootton Typo. Make dual use clearer. Caroline Chisholm SCHOOL to be made clearer etc and bridal ways maybe considered added

Parish Hub Action MW   Ask MIchael how we add that as an aspiration

Verge Management Again a keen interest  in discussions and needs an aspiration for management for bio-diversity and low maintenance  


Jo would like us to create a list of items which Michael could incorporate as examples of environmental betterment even if we are not able to make them a compulsory requirement. Action JW to write list to pass to Michael.