Many of you will be aware that since April of this year, Northamptonshire has been administered at local government level by two new unitary authorities: West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council. Within the Planning and Development Team we have been anticipating how these administrative changes would affect the planning functions of the councils. At present it appears that, for Development Control purposes at least, the new Unitary Authorities are maintaining separate departments and committees to deal with planning applications based upon the previous area boundaries. This may change in due course but it is at least maintaining some continuity in the short term, even if the councils seem to be operating with reduced resources.
The greatest challenge facing the Unitary Authorities will be to develop new Strategic Plans to replace their existing Core Spatial Strategies. These will set the overall tone and thrust of planning policy for the next 20 years and will be heavily influenced by Government plans for a growth led strategy for the Oxford - Cambridge Arc, within which Northamptonshire lies, and which is likely to run in parallel with the new strategic plans. As well as making strategic allocations they will inevitably set the framework within which all developments, both large and small, will be considered over the plan period. We understand that the early stages of preparation for these new strategic plans will commence this Autumn and this is likely to include a Call for Sites. This will be an opportunity for Landowners and Promoters to put forward sites for consideration and it is important that councils are made aware of potential opportunities at this formative stage of the plan making process.
If you feel that you have land which might be suitable for consideration as part of the plan making process in Northamptonshire then please do contact our Planning and Development Team, for advice and guidance.
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