The government has made some major changes to planning in recent years. New national Planning Policies were introduced in 2012 through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The council is responsible for producing local planning policies to supplement those at a national level, through the preparation of a local plan.
For Wellingborough, the local plan will be made up of two parts:
- Part one: The North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (JCS)
- Part two: The Plan for the Borough of Wellingborough (PBW)
The council is in the process of preparing part two, the Plan for the Borough of Wellingborough, which will replace the policies currently in the Town Centre Area Action Plan (2009) and the saved policies from the Borough of Wellingborough Local Plan (1999-2004). The PBW will also replace the Site Specific Proposals Development Plan Document that reached preferred options consultation stage in 2010.
These documents were prepared before the National Planning Policy Framework was issued by Government and they have become dated in many respects. We need to respond to changes that have happened since these original plans were prepared.
The PBW will include local specific policies that will guide the future of the Borough over the next 15 years and will supplement the strategic policies in the North Northamptonshire JCS. The JCS is currently being prepared by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit and it is anticipated that it will be adopted in 2015.
The Wellingborough Local Development Scheme (LDS) outlines the local plan procedures and documents in more detail.
A large evidence base will support the plan as it passes through the following stages:
This stage will involve setting out the scope of the plan, gathering evidence, identifying options and engaging with stakeholders. The council are currently undertaking this stage of the plan making process.
2. Publication of the draft plan
This is a minimum of 6 weeks consultation on the plan, together with a Sustainability Appraisal and the supporting evidence. At this stage representations should be made in relation to legal compliance and soundness of the plan.
3. Submission of the plan to the Secretary of State
An examiner will be allocated and the plan will then be inspected.
4. Independent examination of the plan
This is to determine whether the plan has been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements and is sound.
This is the final action of the process, when the Plan for the Borough of Wellingborough officially supersedes previous policy documents.