Interested parties still have time to have their say on a proposed village development plan.
The Wollaston neighbourhood plan was submitted to Wellingborough Council at the end of October.
We’re confident our plan provides a solution to meeting necessary growth and need for more homes, whilst at the same time protecting the essentially rural character of the villageCllr Geoff Simmons
Following a legal check that made sure it complies with relevant legislation, a six-week consultation period was launched and people have until December 18 to comment.
It is the second neighbourhood plan in the borough to reach an advanced stage in the process, after Earls Barton’s plan successfully passed its referendum recently.
Neighbourhood plans were introduced in 2011 as a way to help communities influence the planning of the area they live and work in.
The plans have to follow an extensive process of preparation and consultation before residents vote on whether or not it should come into force.
Like Earls Barton, the Wollaston 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 Geoff Simmons, borough and parish councillor for Wollaston and member of the neighbourhood plan steering group, said: “We’re really pleased to have reached the point where our plan has been submitted.
“We’re one step closer to having it become a reality, and for residents in Wollaston to take real control over planning matters that affect them.
“Our neighbourhood plan is based on a local housing needs survey and the desire of the community for any development to be in the best interests of the village.
“It’s been four years in the making and at all stages we’ve consulted the local community and taken account of all comments.
“We’re confident our plan provides a solution to meeting necessary growth and need for more homes, whilst at the same time protecting the essentially rural character of the village.
“It’s been a long and very thorough process to get us to this stage, supported by the parish council and the people that live and work in Wollaston.
“By submitting our plan, we’re now near the end of that process.”
Once the publicity period has finished on December 18, the plan will go to an independent examination early in the new year.
If it passes the examination, a referendum will be held 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 in to force.
Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries real legal weight.
Decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider applications for development in the neighbourhood.
Anyone wanting to comment on the Wollaston neighbourhood plan can write to Planning Policy and Regeneration (Wollaston Neighbourhood Plan), Borough Council of Wellingborough, Swanspool House, Doddington Road, NN8 1BP or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline is 5pm on Friday, December 18, and no late representations will be accepted.
More information is available at www.wellingborough.gov.uk.