Following the Borough Council of Wellingborough’s resolution to accept the recommendations of the external examiner at Services Committee on 14 September 2015, a referendum will be held on the Earls Barton Neighbourhood Plan on THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER 2015.

The referendum area will cover the Parish of Earls Barton. The question that will be asked is:

“Do you want the Borough Council of Wellingborough to use the neighbourhood plan for Earls Barton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Links to the plan proposal and the statutory documents accompanying the plan can be found below:

Links to the wider suite of evidence produced to support the plan can be found on the Earls Barton Neighbourhood Plan website, administered by Earls Barton Parish Council.

The following specified documents provide information on the background to the referendum, the arrangements for the day and how to take part:

Polling or Counting Observer:

Any persons who wish to apply to be a counting observer should complete an application and return it to the Counting Officer, Swanspool House, Doddington Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 1BP by Thursday 22 October 2015. The application should state whether the person is connected with any campaign linked to the referendum.

Independent Examination

The examination of the plan took place between March 2015 and September 2015 and was concluded upon the issue of the examiner’s report and list of recommendations.

A single hearing session was held on 29 April 2015 to discuss a range of matters relating to the scale of growth, site selection and Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Following the completion of his examination the examiner recommended that:

  • Subject to a list of targeted amendments the plan is compliant with the basic conditions and should proceed to referendum; and
  • The referendum area should not be extended past the boundaries of the plan area (the Civil Parish of Earls Barton).

Regulation 16 Publicity (post-submission)

The Earls Barton Neighbourhood Plan was submitted to and received by the Borough Council of Wellingborough on 26 June 2014. The plan has now been subject to a legal check to ensure it complies with the relevant provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The decision of the Borough Council of Wellingborough can be found here:

The plan proposal, along with all the relevant accompanying documents, was made available for comment for a 6 week period between 14 July 2014 and 29 August 2014.

Three further rounds of publicity took place on the request of the examiner to ensure that all consultees had a fair opportunity to review the full suite of evidence produced in support of the plan. These consultations were as follows:

  • Second round publicity – 12 March 2015 to 24 April 2015: Overview of site selection process and BCW advice on SEA;
  • Third round publicity – 1 May 2015 to 30 June 2015: Review of the implications of the emerging North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy for the neighbourhood plan; and
  • Fourth round publicity – 9 June 2015 to 24 July 2015: Formal determination of the need for SEA

The draft plan proposal was made available for publicity at Regulation 16 stage along with its accompanying documentation. To avoid confusion, the final plan (including the agreed changes proposed by the examiner and BCW) and the accompanying documents are available via links included under the ‘Referendum’ heading above.

A summary of all of the representations received in relation to all four rounds of consultation is included under the ‘Referendum’ heading above. For those wishing to review the representations received in full they can be found below:

Draft Plan for Regulation 14 (pre-submission)

The statutory 6-week local consultation period on the plan ran from Wednesday 19 March 2014 until Wednesday 30th April 2014. A summary of all representations received and how they have been considered in the drafting of the final plan are set out in the consultation statement (see below).

BCW advice on the need for Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA)

In line with Wellingborough Council’s duty to support Earls Barton, we have so far assisted in statutory consultation to allow an assessment of any potential impact on the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area (SPA). The following consultation was undertaken and decision on the impacts on Habitats issued:

BCW advice on the need for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

In line with Wellingborough Council’s duty to support Earls Barton, officers assisted in statutory consultation to inform the ultimate determination of whether a formal SEA is required to accompany Earls Barton’s plan. The following responses were received from statutory consultees and letters of advice issued by BCW:

Following continuing review of the SEA process and a further consultation on the need for SEA as part of the examination process the final determination and statement of reasons was issued confirming that a full Environmental Statement was not required to support the plan.

Neighbourhood Plan Designation

The application was advertised from 19 April 2012 and comments were invited until 1 June 2012.  Comments were received from Natural England.

Following consideration of the application, the Borough Council of Wellingborough approved the designation of the parish of Earls Barton as the ‘Earls Barton Neighbourhood Area’. Details of the notice of adoption and the plan area can be found below: