Residents and businesses will continue to benefit from local committees deciding planning applications in their area when the new West Northamptonshire Council launches next month.
On 1 April, the new Council will replace the current planning authorities of Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council, South Northamptonshire Council and the County Council as part of a major reorganisation of local government.
Under the new Council’s planning arrangements, there will be three ‘area-based’ committees – one each for Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire which will determine certain planning applications submitted by residents, businesses and developers. Alongside this, a new Strategic Planning Committee will be set up to deal with larger, major applications which carry wider economic and growth implications for West Northamptonshire, such as Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs).
The planning committees will sit after councillors have been elected to the new authority in May and once committee memberships are agreed by the new Council. In the meantime existing planning committee arrangements will continue as usual – this will involve interim committee meetings of the shadow councillors who currently sit on the existing district and borough planning committees.
Residents will see no significant changes to the planning services they receive when the new Council goes live on 1 April – their planning applications will continue to be processed and dealt with in the usual way. They will however need to go to the Council’s new website www.westnorthants.gov.uk to view and make planning applications.
Councillor Adam Brown, Planning Portfolio Holder for the West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority said: “Planning services play an important role within the everyday lives of our residents, whether they are looking to extend their home or are interested in development that’s taking place in their local area. These committee arrangements ensure that local decision-making remains at the heart of the planning process across West Northamptonshire and continues to put engagement with local communities at the forefront of planning issues.”
At their meeting this week (Wednesday, 10 March), Members of the West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority approved the Constitution which sets out the arrangements for planning committees and the interim arrangements.
Information about West Northamptonshire Council’s Planning Services will be available from 1 April on its new website at www.westnorthants.gov.uk. Until then, residents and businesses should continue to visit their local district/borough council website for planning services.