Northampton Local Plan 1997



1.1.     The Northampton Local Plan sets out the policies and proposals adopted by the Borough Council for the development and use of land in Northampton. It seeks to provide a framework within which future development can be accommodated in a way which safeguards the quality of the local environment. It is one of several plans which together form the Development Plan for the Borough of Northampton. The other Plans are: 


Northamptonshire Structure Plan 1989 (as amended by Alteration No 1 1992);

Northamptonshire Minerals Local Plan (1996);

Northamptonshire Waste Local Plan (in preparation).


1.2.     The Plan covers the whole administrative area of the Borough of Northampton. Northampton was selected in the mid 1960's for expansion under the New Towns Act and the administrative area is the same as the designated area for expansion. The boundary is drawn tightly around the urban area of Northampton, but large open spaces associated with the River Nene and its tributaries exist together with many parks. Planned expansion has led to a mid 1992 population of 186,000 and the town is continuing to grow as the major employment, residential, shopping and recreational centre for Northamptonshire. The combination of easy access and its central position in England makes the town attractive to business and increasingly to tourists.


 1.3.      The Plan has the following main aims:

a)          to balance the needs of development with a need to protect and enhance the local environment;

b)          to provide a planning framework as the basis for development control, thereby assisting developers in the promotion of acceptable development in terms of land use and design; 

c)        to ensure that the proposals conform with the Northamptonshire Structure Plan (as amended by Alteration No 1).




1.4. The Plan consists of this Written Statement and a Proposals Map at a scale  of 1:11,500  (with an inset covering the central area at a scale of 1:2500). The Proposals Map identifies the sites and areas to which particular policies apply. If any conflict of interpretation between the Proposals Map and Written Statement is found, the Written Statement prevails. 

1.5. The Written Statement contains seven chapters (in addition to this introduction) dealing with separate topics. Throughout the Written Statement, policies appear in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS and form the statutory planning proposals of the Plan as adopted. These proposals may either relate to a specific site, to a larger area or the total Plan area. Appendices at the end of the Written Statement set out particular sites, standards or other information relevant to specified policies. 

1.6. The remainder of the text including plans and diagrams, constitutes the reasoned justification for the policies and additional explanatory and background  material. Within the text and written in italics are statements of intent relating to specific topics. Such statements help to provide a context within which the planning policies operate and give guidance as to general policy matters which are not specifically related to the grant of planning permission. These may cover matters such as longer term intentions or indicate encouragement or support of development by other agencies.

1.7. Section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act as inserted by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 states that where an authority is required to have regard to the development plan, decisions are to be in accordance with the provisions of the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Nevertheless, whilst some policies may individually favour development providing that conditions are met, this may not be sufficient to guarantee planning permission if development would be contrary to other policies contained in the Plan.




1.8.           The Plan period runs to 2006 to comply with the Northamptonshire Structure Plan (Alteration No 1). In seeking to conform with the housing and industrial land requirements of the Structure Plan (Alteration No 1), the base date of the Plan has been taken at 1988 updated to mid 1993. It should be noted that unless otherwise stated, all information in the Local Plan refers to the position at mid 1993.




1.9. The Plan has been prepared in the context of relevant Government advice as expressed in Departmental Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes and other statements. The Plan takes account of Regional Planning Guidance relating to the East Midlands, published in March 1994. 

1.10. There are several other strategies and programmes which seek to  influence  the  future  development of the Borough in various ways and which either derive from, or work in conjunction with, the policies and proposals of the Plan:


*            Northamptonshire Transport Policies and Programme, produced annually by the County Council contains a package of integrated transport measures for the Northampton area which reflect the proposals of this Local Plan; 


*            An annual Housing Investment Programme is produced by the Borough Council to define and seek to meet future housing needs in Northampton; 


*            An annual Economic Development Statement is published by the Borough Council and includes an Action Plan to guide economic and tourism development; 


*            The Northampton Partnership urban regeneration programme with funding from the Governments Single Regeneration Budget applies to an area to the north west, west and south of the town centre covering some 700 hectares; 


*            The Northampton Wildlife Strategy published in March 1994 indicates how the Council will seek in partnership with others to protect and develop wildlife interest in the Borough. 


The provisions and policies of the South Northamptonshire Local Plan, Daventry Local Plan and Wellingborough Local Plan apply to land beyond the boundary of Northampton Borough.



1.11.         The Plan was subject to a specified statutory procedure before being adopted as a statutory Local Plan. A Consultation Draft was published for comment in August 1992. The Plan was then amended taking account of comments received and formally placed "on deposit" in May/June 1994 to allow for public objections to be registered. Objection was made to the Plan and a Public Inquiry held between 25 April and 14 July 1995 to hear and consider objections. The Report of the Inquiry Inspector was received in March 1996 and Proposed Modifications were published in September 1996 and February 1997. The Plan was adopted by the Planning and Transportation Committee on 5 June 1997. 


1.12.          This Plan replaces the County Borough of Northampton Development Plan (1957), the Northampton Master Plan (1970) and where applicable the provisions of the Draft Central Area Plan (1971), the Racecourse/Mounts District Plan (1978) and the South Western District Plan (1989).








1.13. Change in the environment is continual. Economic, social and cultural forces which affect the environment are themselves continually changing. It is important therefore that the Local Plan is not seen as an "end state" for which we should strive. It is a document to guide and promote environmental change and, of necessity, it has an inherent flexibility.

1.14. The Plan must be kept as up to date as possible. The Council will monitor continually the Plan and environmental changes throughout the town and the Plan will be reviewed as necessary.