Public consultation on planning powers launched

A public consultation on new planning powers for West Northamptonshire Development Corporation was launched today by minister Baroness Andrews.

Under the proposals WNDC would become the local planning authority for all planning applications in Northampton town centre, except those affecting listed buildings, conservation areas, advertisements and alterations to existing homes, which will continue to be determined by Northampton Borough Council.

The planning process will apply in exactly the same way to all applications and there will be no relaxation of the safeguards in the planning system for applications determined by WNDC. Councillors from NBC will continue to be involved in these decisions though the WNDC.

Baroness Andrews says: “It is vital to get the right kind of development in Northampton town centre as part of the wider growth in West Northamptonshire. These proposals will give the WNDC the tools it needs to make the small changes that will have a big cumulative effect through which regeneration can be achieved.

“We welcome the work done by the WNDC and NBC to build this agreement to deliver benefits in terms of regeneration and better management of the town centre. We will also ensure that those affected are properly consulted.”

Those who wish to comment on the proposals have until January 13 2006. Following consideration of both this and an earlier consultation, the government intends to lay the powers subject to Parliamentary approval to come into operation in March 2006.