Ellie Gingell is the South Northants Council (SNC) Planner whose role includes advising those creating Neighbourhood Plans in the South Northants area. She has regular meetings to help review our progress with the Chair, Cllr Roy Hawkesford, of the Hackleton Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. We will post Roy’s notes on these meetings as they contain items of interest and which will influence the way we create our plan.
Meeting 7th August 2018
Attending: Ellie Gingell (South Northants Council), Cllr Roy Hawkesford Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
A number of topics were discussed:
FOOTPATHS / CYCLE WAYS
Ellie thought that the idea of ‘access to the countryside’ and links between conurbations was a good one, as we are a polycentric parish. This includes footpaths, cycle ways and tracks. We could make use of SNC’s and the county’s Interactive Mapping service – which contains details of all paths, archaeology sites, geographical information, and so on – to see how these could be linked.
Ellie said that SNC can only issue general guidance on the volume of housing growth that is appropriate in the parish. Somewhere between 25 and 50 units might be an appropriate level to consider subject to the findings of the Housing Needs Assessment.
If the NP does not include an appropriate level of growth then Developers may challenge it at enquiry and SNC would have difficulty supporting it. If it has an appropriate level it would fit within SNC Local Plan and SNC would be able to back NP if conflicting development is applied for.
Ellie advised reading SNC’s Guide to Neighbourhood Planning which gives a template for doing structured site assessment. She recommended that the Steering Group start a dialogue with local landowners to see what they might be willing to put forward as Sites and which have been withdrawn from consideration. This should be done in writing, and then we should assess the sites using the template proposed in the Guide. Ellie said she would be happy to sit in on meetings with landowners – but not to run them – to clarify issues that emerged during discussion. She indicated that we should be imaginative when looking at potential sites; we can assess any potential site. SNC would support us with anything we came up with so long as it passed the test in the Guide. Basically, it would have to be defensible!
We always have to be aware that what we come up with will also have to be approved by the public!
Ellie agreed that the majority of any proposed new dwellings within the parish should be in Hackleton. Piddington and Horton are regarded as appropriate only for infill or very small sites (even a site of 1 in each village) to be allocated. Cases could be made for not allocating sites in Piddington or Horton. Any additional dwellings should be single, adjacent, well-related, infill. A design statement should be made for each village, to include photographs of what we consider appropriate.
Clearly, Hackleton is more sustainable for development, having more infrastructure, being on the main road, etc.
There should be a section in the NP for the housing policy in each village.
OPTIONS 1 & 2
Just a bit about this. When we’re writing the NP, we should include a statement (which Ellie will send us) referring to Options 1 & 2 as “strategic”, so not suitable for Neighbourhood Planning. That way we would not get embroiled in the debates over them. We can make ‘statements’ about what should happen on our side of the NRDA boundary.
NON LISTED BUILDINGS
This can be tricky. We should look imaginatively at what characterises all of our parish, not just buildings… bridges, walls, barns, anything. We should do a long list and whittle it down. Photographs are clearly essential! We need to be able to justify every one of them.
Unlisted buildings of interest: Historic England has advice on non-designated buildings; we would need evidence and evaluation to show to SNC. If approved , a non-listed building (bridge or wall) would be treated like a listed building by SNC. (Not all house owners might be impressed by this!)
GREEN SPACES & WEDGES / ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Wedges are difficult to justify, but not impossible. A very good case has to made for them. They have to be obvious!
Green Spaces are as good as set in stone, which is why it’s so important to identify them. If it isn’t already included our Rec should be identified – it’s also a green space between Old and New Hackleton.
SNC do take archaeological sites seriously when considering Sites – which is why Piddington is largely exempt, in their view.
SNC LOCAL PLAN PART 2a
This is due for agreement on September 19th. Whatever happens regarding Local Government Reorganisation, the Local Plan 2a will not be in contravention of the Government guidelines, so it won’t threaten or invalidate our NP.
From what she’s seen, Ellie says we won’t be in conflict with Local Plan Part 2a.
We will need to work with our consultant to ensure that a “screening and sustainable appraisal” is undertaken (She can give us more info on that!).
We should also structure the plan to include sections on each village and not just the Village Characteristics.
NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK
Ellie drew attention to page 7 of the newly updated NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) which describes the criteria for Neighbourhood Plans to be robust. Ellie thought we were on track to meet all of the criteria.
Ellie said that there are now just a couple of parishes still ‘going for it’ in SNC area. That’s understandable given the amount of work and endeavour involved.
However Ellie made it clear that it is worth having one for our parish as because of our location alongside Northampton’s popular southern boundary we will have significant pressures for development in the parish if we don’t have a robust, defensible NP in place.
I suggested that Ellie might attend our formal meeting on October 8th, after the SNC September 19th meeting to approve Local Plan Part 2a. We may also have some feedback on the HNA process by then.
We should use her expertise to help us formulate the draft plan for submission to SNC as well as using Michael’s consultancy.
Cllr Roy Hawkesford
(revised for web by Maz Woolley)
August 7th 2018