Have your say to help shape the county’s future

Plans for the development of towns and rural areas are to be opened up to the public during a consultation this month.

Strategic planning chiefs have been revisiting the overall strategy for new housing and retail development as well as leisure, infrastructure, jobs and transport that was originally drawn up in 2008.

In the light of new planning laws, and a different economic climate, the North Northamptonshire Core Strategy has now been updated and adapted to help decide key developments over the next 20 years.

Local people will have a chance to see these new policies for the first time, and have their say, in a consultation starting on Monday.

It is expected that ambitious housing targets, drawn up when the economy was booming, will now be scaled-down.

There are also due to be detailed plans for transport networks that will make it easier for people to get into, and out of, town centres.

The strategy will also show plans for Rushden’s growth, including targets for jobs and housing development.

And there will be a new focus on the natural environment, looking specifically at the new Nene Valley Nature Improvement Area.

A spokesman for the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit said: “As part of the review and update of the North Northamptonshire Core Strategy that was adopted in 2008, consultation is about to take place on a set of draft policies and plans that will shape how Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough develop through to 2031. This is the first “airing” for these policies and an important opportunity for interested parties to help to shape the new plan.

“The North Northamptonshire Joint Committee, made up of the district, boroughs and county council, has agreed these draft policies and a provisional list of sites for strategic housing and employment. A number of these sites already have planning permission but have been identified to reinforce their importance over the next 20 to 30 years in delivering housing and jobs in the area.”

The consultation will last for 10 weeks, running until October 15. The full consultation documents will be available from www.nnjpu.org.uk on Monday.

Chairman of the joint committee Cllr David Brackenbury said: “Consultation on the emerging plan gives people a further opportunity to help in shaping the place where they live and work. We strongly encourage communities and individuals to contribute to this consultation, which will be fundamental in reflecting views as to how North Northamptonshire will develop over the next two decades.”