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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.

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.