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North Northamptonshire joint development plan passes muster

Published: Thursday, 30th June 2016

Inspector’s report published concluding that, subject to modifications, the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit’s Joint Core Strategy is “sound”…

The joint core strategy and local plan for four borough and district councils in north Northamptonshire, together with the county council, has been signed off as sound by the planning inspector who examined the strategy, albeit with certain provisos.

A key issue is the requirement that the councils must put in place a mechanism for monitoring housing delivery which will instigate a review should proposed sustainable urban extension (SUE) fail to match expectations in the plan. This covers the areas administered by the Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough local authorities.

The plan continues the urban focus and the broad locations of a series of SUEs originally established by the original pioneering joint core strategy established in 2008.

There have been important changes to the former strategy with updated levels of new development based on current objectively assessed needs (OAN), stronger policies to protect and enhance the environment locally, and the introduction of a growth town role for Rushden. There is also recognition of the potential for higher levels of new development at Corby and more specific aims for the development of the other large towns of Kettering and Wellingborough, all of which have plans for SUEs.

The plan provides for a total of 40,000 new homes between 2011 and 2031. Some 35,000 are to meet local needs plus a further 5,000 to take advantage of growth prospects in Corby (and to a lesser degree development at Deenethorpe Airfield).

The initial target for affordable housing is 20 per cent in the SUEs though a higher rate of 40 per cent will be expected in some rural areas and at Oundle.

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Roger Milne