Still time to comment on neighbourhood plan for Earls Barton

Earls Barton
Earls Barton
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Have your say

People still have time to have their say on a proposed village development plan.

Following extensive consultation last year, the Earls Barton neighbourhood plan was submitted for independent review at the beginning of March.

The examiner has now requested that two additional, supporting documents be made available for people to comment on.

The documents are a letter and information about strategic environmental assessment screening, and the plan site selection process document.

Both documents were produced after the plan was submitted for review.

The documents are available on Wellingborough Council’s website, along with instructions for how to comment on them.

The deadline for comments is April 24.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced under the Localism Act as a new way to help local communities influence the planning of the area they live and work in.

If a plan is prepared and agreed by the community it becomes part of the development plan for the neighbourhood and is used in the determination of planning applications.

The Earls Barton plan sets out a framework for the future of the village, including new housing, local employment, transport, leisure, health and education facilities, and the protection of historically important buildings.

Cllr Robert Gough, ward councillor for Earls Barton and chairman of the neighbourhood plan project group, said: “The people of Earls Barton have put a lot of hard work into this plan in the hope that residents will get a real say in planning matters that affect them.

“We’ve identified future housing needs to ensure we support the growth of the village in a way that makes sure that important services and infrastructure are not overstretched.

“The plan guides how development should be delivered according to the wishes of the community.

“It’s been a long and very thorough process, supported by the parish council and involving the people that live and work in the village.

“We’re near the end of this process now. We’ve submitted the plan and the examiner has asked that people have the opportunity to comment on a couple of extra pieces of information.

“Once that’s done, the independent examination will continue.”

If the neighbourhood plan passes the examination, a referendum will be organised to give the community the final say.

People living in the village who are registered to vote in local elections would be able to vote in the referendum, and if more than 50 per cent of those voting support the plan then it will come into force.

Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries real weight.

Decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.

Anyone wanting to comment on the supporting information relating to the Earls Barton neighbourhood plan should visit www.wellingborough.gov.uk/earlsbartonneighbourhoodplan or phone 01933 231 667.

The deadline for comments is 5pm on April 24 and no late representations will be accepted.