Weedon Bec Parish Council

Serving the people of Weedon Bec

Clerk: Mrs Susan Halkett
16, St Mary's Way, Weedon
Northamptonshire NN7 4QL

Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan sets out policies in relation to the development and use of land in Weedon Bec. The Weedon Bec Neighbourhood Plan will be an important document which the government will consider in all planning decisions in the parish. The NP must be drafted by local people who are recognised as representatives of the community, and if it is approved by a referendum in the parish, it is expected to shape planning decisions – along with the Daventry District Council's Local Plan.

The Weedon Bec Neighbourhood Plan is an opportunity for local people to have a say in what to protect and where to build in their parish over the long term. Local people are very enthusiastic about the project and the community agreed to go ahead with creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Weedon Bec in December 2013.

Although it is not intended to be overly restrictive, a Neighbourhood Plan is a very comprehensive document. It contains a full survey of community assets and needs – from affordable housing to protecting the natural environment – and sets out the policies and projects that will define how the parish changes in the coming years. This vision will be very important for the community, Daventry District Council and developers, among many other interested parties.

For more information on Weedon Bec's Neighbourhood Plan go to:

Submission result

There's no getting away from it, our Neighbourhood Plan was failed by the Examiner.

There is no appeal. The Parish Council and Steering Group are shocked and dismayed and wondering what to do next. At an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on 20th February, the Parish Council voted to withdraw the plan.

The Examiner criticised the plan for lacking proper evidence to support the policies, some of which were not 'clear and unambiguous'. The 'Call for Sites' process which was undertaken to a tried and tested format that our consultants had used before, came in for criticism. The Strategic Environmental Assessment, which caused so much trouble and delay in 2015 was deemed inadequate. Underpinning much of the criticism was a poor approach to assessing the impact of Heritage Assets on sites identified in the plan for possible development.

Much of the Examiners criticism remains puzzling, particularly since the plan had been complimented by others during its making for its thoroughness and scope. A full copy of the Examiners report can be found on the District Council website at https://www.daventrydc.gov.uk/living/planning-policy/neighbourhood-planning/submitted-neighbourhood-plans/#plan3. Have a look and see what you make of it.

The Steering Group had become aware lately that government was requiring Examiners to set higher standards for evidence required of Neighbourhood Plans. While the group had anticipated that the plan would go to public Examination and some changes would be made, no one expected it to be totally dismissed. The Steering Group certainly feel that they have been harshly judged or let down by all the 'higher' planning authorities that have had overview of our plan.

What to do next? Without a plan the village has little protection from developers other than the policies that the District Council has in place in its 1997 Local Plan which is being updated and due for completion in Autumn 2018.

The District Council has offered to meet with the Parish Council to review the plan. A new consultant would need to be employed to give the existing draft plan a 'health check'. This will cost money for which a grant application must be made. More importantly, the task will require a new Steering Group with someone strong to lead it.

Thanks are due to the residents and Parish Councillors who worked so hard over the past 3 years to contribute to the plan; a lot has been learned. Steering Group members would be happy to pass on their experience to anyone who would like to take up the challenge of revising or making a new plan.