High hopes for Harpole neighbourhood plan

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Harpole is on track to have more of a say in its future, following the approval of its Neighbourhood Plan.

At a meeting of South Northamptonshire Council’s (SNC) Planning Policy and Regeneration Strategy Committee, members were asked to consider the recommendations of the examiner’s report and determine whether the plan should proceed to a referendum.

Cllr Roger Clarke, SNC’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “We have seen first-hand with the adoption of the Kislingbury Neighbourhood Plan just how, following the introduction of the 2011 Localism Act, communities are increasingly looking to shape their local areas.

“It is heartening to see another parish within the district taking the initiative to influence the future of their community.”

In May, 87 per cent of those who voted in the referendum for Kislingbury were in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan when asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question “Do you want South Northamptonshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Kislingbury to help decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

The preparation of the plan was driven by the Neighbourhood Plan Group, through the Parish Council and was based on extensive community consultation.

SNC then led a public consultation on the submitted version of the Harpole Neighbourhood Plan, which ran for six weeks between Monday, 3 October and Friday, 11 November 2016. SNC then funded and organised a formal examination into the plan.

The next step is to produce a ‘Decision Statement’ which will be published along with the amended plan and examiner’s report on SNC’s website, as well as being made available at The Forum and the All Saints church within Harpole parish.

This will then proceed to a public referendum on the Thursday, 27 July, posing the question “Do you want South Northamptonshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Harpole to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

If more than half of those who vote in the referendum support the question, SNC would then need to ratify the plan before it is officially adopted and published on the website.

It would then form part of the SNC Development Plan, meaning it becomes a consideration in the determination of planning applications in Harpole.

For more information visit our Current and Forthcoming Referendums page.