Daventry District Council Part 2 Local Plan consultation

Daventry District Council

Part 2 Local Plan consultation,

which runs until 26 January 2018

Click here to read the response document

We are keen to encourage as many people as possible to take part

If you are able to help us spread the word by sharing this information within your local communities, on websites/social media and newsletters, that would be greatly appreciated.

People living and working in Daventry District are being encouraged to get involved in an important planning consultation on the future of the area.

Daventry District Council (DDC) is urging people to give their views on the emerging draft Settlements and Countryside Local Plan. This is a significant planning policy document, containing detailed guidance that would help shape local decision-making on future planning issues.

The document also sets out proposals to create ‘green wedges’ on the town’s surrounding areas to protect the nearby villages.

A ‘hierarchy’ for the future development of villages and hamlets in Daventry District. This determines where future development would be both prioritised and restricted.

A new Parish Annex policy to protect a number of important local green spaces suggested by parish councils.

Creating up to 25 additional hectares of employment land in Daventry, including extending Heartlands and Apex business parks and a further site – Daventry South East Gateway. There is a particular focus on buildings for smaller businesses the area needs to thrive.

An update on the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Show people, setting out the number of plots and pitches required over the next 12 years to meet the standards set by Government.

Proposals to protect the District’s distinctive landscapes, biodiversity and history, as well as leisure facilities and green spaces.

We would encourage as many residents as possible to look through the document and give their views.

How to take part in the consultation

The consultation on the Emerging Draft Settlements and Countryside Local Plan (Part 2) takes place until 26 January 2018

· View the Draft Plan, consultation documents and all supporting background information atwww.daventrydc.gov.uk/localplan or at the Daventry District Council Offices in Lodge Road, Daventry or at local libraries.

· Complete the comments form online at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/localplan. Parish councils are also welcome to nominate Local Green Spaces using a specific form available on the website.

· Hard copies are available upon request from the Local Strategy Service – emailplanningpolicy@daventrydc.gov.uk or call 01327 302559

Response to Settlement and Countryside Local Plan (Part 2) for Daventry District” consultation.  26th January 2018

Click Here to download a pdf copy.


Please see below Harlestone Parish Council’s (HPC) comments in response to Settlement and Countryside Local Plan (Part 2) for Daventry District” consultation.

Deadline for comments: 26th January 2018

The Settlement and Countryside Local Plan (Part 2) for Daventry District (SCLP) is the emerging policy document which, alongside the WNJCS and made Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDP), is the basis for shaping development in Daventry District.

HPC welcome the Settlement and Countryside Local Plan (Part 2) for Daventry District. Broadly, the SCLPs emphasis on preserving open spaces, the historic environment and sustainable development is congruent with views expressed by HPC. However, in some instances the detailed information provided is incongruent with the development plans already imposed on Harlestone. The observations below relate to the impact this policy document has on Harlestone, seek clarity in some instances and urge the SCLP to extend the policy or guidance where appropriate.


Chapter 1: Introduction

Section 1.7.01 states that only made NDPs are part of the statutory development plan. The Advice Note on Neighbourhood Planning and the Historic Environment (recently consultation ended 15th December) states that NDPs do not have to be ‘made’ to carry significant weight and consideration in planning decisions. While unmade plans may not be of statutory significance, it would be helpful to local councils with emerging NDPs if the SCLP specifically referenced the Advice Note on Neighbourhood Planning and the Historic Environment in this section and mirrored the status given to NDPs in the Advice Note.

Section 1.8 Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development. HPC reluctantly, and with reservations regarding size and design of development, accept the necessity of large scale housing development the council would like to see this section explain what “sustainable” means. There should be greater specificity surrounding the nature of the services together with how and when those services are to be delivered.

Chapter 2: Spatial Profile

Section 2.4 fails to recognise the very significant differences between the rural and urban economies and demographic present throughout Daventry District. HPC believe that planning decisions would be better informed if a distinction was made.

Chapter 3: Vision & Objectives

Section 3.1.03 is welcomed by the council. HPC would like the SCLP objective to go further. It should protect the character of rural communities by committing to protecting and retaining urban/rural separation. It should insist that development take account of local character by using locally sourced building materials and reflecting local designs. Where urban and rural meet, HPC would like the SLCP to insist that the design of the development should include some transitional elements, such as use of local stone, natural looking open areas and appropriate planting schemes.

Chapter 4: Daventry District Spatial Strategy

No observations.

Chapter 5: Development in Rural Areas

Section 5.1.02 notes that the WNJCS reduces the housing requirement in rural areas from 2,360 to 2,029. Harlestone Parish has received outline planning applications for 1400 new dwellings, on top of the 250 either under construction or recently developed. Given the reduced requirement, HPC would urge DDC planning authority to reduce the number of dwellings planned for Harlestone Parish. Such a reduction would better reflect the Vision and Objectives set out in Chapter 3 which clearly state a desire to protect and preserve the rural character of the village and its surroundings.

Section 5.1.07 In the interests of clarity, it would be helpful if the text reflected that RA3 Other Villages and RA4 Small Settlements/Hamlets replaces EM15 Restraint Villages. This is not clear until Appendix E, page 156.

Section 5.1.09 & 5.1.10 welcome the intention to preserve the landscape and historic buildings which are fundamental to the character of the village. However, the policy does not cover/acknowledge the open space surrounding the village. Often such open space, creating separation from the urban area is fundamental to the character of a village and the policy should reflect this. It should preserve the rurality of an area. This is somewhat covered by Chapter 9/Section 9.2 but this section could be strengthened by including the intent to preserve rural separation in Section 5 Policy RA5-Open Countryside.

Section 5.2 Settlement Hierarchy. The definition of ‘Other Villages’ refers to “windfall infill development”. It is unclear what is meant by this term.

Section 5.2.05/Table 2 (page 30) cite Upper Harlestone and Lower Harlestone as two separate villages under different classifications. We understand that there is a historic precedent for citing these villages separately. However, given that Upper & Lower Harlestone share the few services available, have one parish council, are protected by one conservation area and face identical challenges resulting from extensive local development in the parish; HPC ask that parity between the two villages is preserved so that both are classified as ‘Small Settlement/Hamlet’.

Section 5.2.23 Suggests that development in ‘Other villages’ should be limited to the confines of the village and should be small scale. While the confines of Harlestone Villages have been preserved in the current WNJCS, the Parish has increased from 210 dwelling to about 1800 dwellings. This impacts the rural character of the original village and HPC would like the definition of ‘Other Village’ to reflect that the setting and surrounding areas are as important as the confines of the village, as such any development outside the confines of the village but within the parish boundary must be considerate of the rurality of the village and planned new services can not have a detrimental impact on the village.

Section 5.3 Open Countryside. HPC are broadly welcoming of this policy but note that current plans for development in Harlestone Parish are incongruent with this policy.

Chapter 6: Meeting the District’s Housing Needs

Section 6.4 Rural Exception Sites. Policy H3 of the WNJCS is applicable to the development in Harlestone Parish. HPC would like to see this guidance in the SCLP surrounding this policy include a requirement to design and build sympathetically (using local materials where possible) and to keep housing-density lower than in urban areas. It would add that local services in Rural Exception Sites should be reflect the rural character of the area by providing informal/natural looking space for leisure and recreation.

Chapter 7: Vibrant Economy

No observations.

Chapter 8: Sustainable Transport

Section 8.1 Walking and Cycling. HPC welcome this guidance and appreciate the note in section 8.1.05 which states that it is not desirable to urbanise areas in order to improve walking and cycling routes.

Section 8.3 Northampton Northern Orbital Road and Northampton Western Relief Road. While accepting that the SCLP is unable to provide more detail or indicate its preference for a plan, it may be useful to reference the CPRE’s take on Northampton North Orbital Route (see article: https://www.cprenorthants.org.uk/media/newsletters/Outlook_November_2017_v31.pdf). HPC would encourage the SCLP guidance to be aligned with this information.

Chapter 9: The Built and Natural Environment.

HPC broadly welcome this policy which gives appropriate importance to the setting, historic integrity and preservation of the overall character of the district.

Section 9.1.11 Special Landscape Areas. HPC understand that the Daventry District Landscape Study reviewed and now proposes to include four SLAs in the area. Harlestone Parish borders the Brington SLA and would, if given the opportunity, like to propose that Harlestone is included in the SLA to reflect and include those landscape areas that give the parish its distinct settlement areas and open spaces/views. Given that the conservation area status specifically mentions the views and landscape throughout Upper and Lower Harlestone it seems appropriate to make this request.

Section 9.1.12 seems to indicate that settlements classified as ‘other’ and ‘small settlement/hamlet’ are covered by SLA. HPC would appreciate greater clarity in the wording of this section of the SCLP.

Section 9.2 Green Wedge. HPC welcome the introduction of the Green Wedge surrounding Harlestone.

Section 9.3 Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity. HPC welcome these policies but would like them to go further. The SCLP should require developments next to Green Wedges, SLAs or in Rural Exception Sites to include plans for increasing the number of trees in the area. This would be in line with government plans to promote and fund tree planting (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/countryside-stewardship-woodland-support).

Section 9.5 Historic Environment. HPC very much welcome the emphasis placed on preserving the historic environment.

Section 9.7 Design. HPC welcome the spirit of policy ENV11. However, it notes that recent development applications have fallen short of meeting the high stands of design eluded to in this policy.

Chapter 10: Community Facilities

Section 10.1.04 addresses the need for an appropriate mix of recreation facilities. Chapter 10 fails to make the distinction between the requirements in urban and rural areas, so that the recreation facility reflects the character of the area. For example, recent outline application for largescale development in Harlestone Parish indicated inclusion of formal sports pitches whereas informal recreation space (i.e. dog parks or nature walks) would be better suited to this rural area.

Chapter 11: Parish Annex

No observations.


Super Fast Broad Band / Gigaclear Update

Super Fast Broad Band / Gigaclear Update

  1.  The Superfast Northamptonshire website ‘where and when’ map shows that they have split Lower Harlestone into three areas . The main part of the village (NN7 4EW and others) is part of your commercial roll-out, whereas the two purple areas either side are in-scope and you are to supply with taxpayer funding. Is this correct? If so, will the whole area be able to use your network from the same date? (Presumably you will need the `middle bit` to be connected for the two in-scope areas either side to work?)
We will be building the whole community as one project, regardless of whether premises are funded or not.  We can start providing a service to customers once the Cabinet has been made live and tested.  This can be before the whole of the community has been completed.  So generally speaking, those premises that are closest to the cabinet, so have been built first, will have the opportunity to order a service from us first.  Those that are further away, so have been built last, may have to wait a few more weeks before their connection arrives, is tested and is made ready for service.  Our aim is to make the gap between the physical connection point appearing outside your property (the access pot) and the ready for service date as short as possible.
  1.  Does your agreement with Superfast Northamptonshire mean that all properties within the purple in-scope areas will be able to connect – even harder to reach areas?
Our contract with Northamptonshire is only to connect premises that are classified as NGA White that we have identified through our tender response that we can provide service.  These are properties that do not currently have a Superfast Broadband connection.  In addition to this Gigaclear are also building to other premises (that may already have Superfast Broadband).  In Harlestone, Upper Harlestone and Lower Harslestone we appear to be connecting every property and there does not appear to be any isolated premises that we are not placing a connection to.  Usually the coverage is not 100% but in Harlestone, Upper Harlestone and Lower Harslestone this appears to be the case, but residents should check their premises on our website.
The Superfast Northamptonshire When and Where map is based at postcode level, and not accurate at an individual premise level.  The best way to see if a premise is within our plans is by using the Gigaclear postcode checker ( https://www.gigaclear.com/postcode-checker/).
  1.  Assuming that your answer to 2) above is `yes` – does this extend to the main village area (out of scope of taxpayer funding) too? For example, Glebe Lane (postcode NN7 4ET) is in the out of scope area and therefore within your commercial plans, but is not on the main A428. Will you be laying fibre down this road, and similar offshoots, too? (Note: I understand that residents have to individually link up to your network at their expense, my question relates to your main cabling intentions.)
To provide a service to every property we will need to place a network access pot in the public highway on the edge of each property boundary (usually to one side of a driveway or entrance to the property).  We will be laying duct and dropping pots to every property.  So we will be going down virtually every street to reach every property.
  1.  On the Superfast Northamptonshire website and also on the Gigaclear site, the area in question is labelled Church Brampton (East Midlands) rather than Lower Harlestone. Why is this ?
In our world communities are made up of Cabinets to which we can connect around 450 premises.  In rural areas a cabinet can be used to connect properties across quite a large area encompassing many villages and hamlets.  In your case the cabinet you will be connected to is in Church Brampton.  I realise this is not helpful for knowing whether your particular town, village  or hamlet is in our plans. To help with this Northamptonshire CC have created a table on their website which lists places and allows you to look up the cabinet name for that community:
www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net/when-and-where/Pages/roll-out-schedule.aspx< http://www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net/when-and-where/Pages/roll-out-schedule.aspx>
  1.  On your website, the date was stated as ‘by the end of 2019’ and this was changed to 2020 a month ago (I`ve been checking regularly). It has, since our MP`s involvement, changed to 2018. You have said that the previous dates were errors and it has always been 2018. Forgive me for been sceptical about this. Can you re-confirm the 2018 date please – we have been messed about so much over this and seek assurances that , unlike BT, you will not renege on promises or subject us to slippage in your timeline.
I’m not sure why we had these errors on our website.  We are contracted by Northamptonshire to deliver the network by the end of 2018,  and we are still committed to doing this.  We would only be able to extend the delivery period if there were significant obstacles that have prevented our delivery (known as Relief Events).  The build of the Church Brampton cabinet is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year (January to March).  A cabinet build takes about 3 to 4 months from beginning to end.  As we get closer to this period we will be publishing more accurate start dates and as the build progresses we will be publishing the expected date for build complete.  Individual properties can go live at any point after the Cabinet has gone live,  so this could be within a couple of months of the build starting.  Residents who register an interest with us will receive notification when their pot is ready for service and they can then place an order.  We will also send mailshots to all properties after they have gone live to tell them that they can now place an order.
  1.  Do you need to do a survey, or has this already been done? If it has not been done how can you commit to a timescale?
A survey is carried out at a number of stages in the design process.  We make use of desk-based tools to design the network and identify any Special Engineering Difficulties (e.g. bridges, major road junctions, railway lines, motorways etc.).  In the first instance our surveyors will just look at the Special Engineering Difficulties,  but they will drive the planned route and check that all major obstacles have been picked up by the design team.  Once we have a detailed design this is passed to our contractors and they will verify it with their own survey.  Should any problems be picked up then these will be rectified by the design team.  At the moment we will only publish build start and build complete dates by quarter.  We can start to publish more accurate dates as the build progresses and we have more certainty over the design and challenges we might face.
The Church Bampton cabinet has already reached detailed design stage and is ready to hand over to the contractor. So in the New Year you will start to see activity in the area by the contractor verifying the design.  Build will start later on in the quarter.
  1.  Our enquires show that you will experience a very large take-up from residents once you so `live` and you will be pleased to know that BT are about to lose a lot of business over this. What assurances can you give that you will not increase your prices after we sign up? Is there an agreement with Superfast Northamptonshire over this and, if so, does this agreement extent to the out-of-scope area as well as the two in-scope areas?
Gigaclear operates a single, national pricing policy with 2 schedules of prices; Retail and Wholesale.  Our pricing is clear and simple in that there are no additional usage based monthly costs, no hidden charges, and neither is there a separate line rental charge. Our wholesale prices are set at a percentage discount to our retail prices and our partner Retail Service Provider’s (RSPs) are free to set their own prices.
Gigaclear reviews its products with partners and benchmarks pricing against the major providers annually.  Our terms and conditions state the we may increase prices in January of each year by up to RPI + 2%.  For January 2018 we have decided to not increase residential prices at all, unlike other providers.
  1.  Your email responses (attached) refer to your Marketing Dept who were, on your instruction, to send correspondence to residents to put us in the picture about your plans. However we have received nothing. However Upper Harlestone residents have received mailshots from you promoting the fact that they would soon be able to connect to your network! This is concerning – UH already have SFBB as explained above. I assume this is an error, but please confirm that you are supplying us and NOT UH.
Having checked with the marketing team,  they have been posting out our Introductory Mailshot in waves.  It might be that some residents in Upper Harlestone have received theirs already, but everyone else,  in Harlestone and Lower Harlestone, should receive it within the few weeks.

Historic England are welcoming comments

Historic England are welcoming comments regarding their Neighbourhood Planning Advise Note.
The consultation period ends 15th December 2017
The Advice Note can be found at the following website:
All comments should be addressed to Historic England by Friday 15th December, either by email or post:
Email: governmentadvice@HistoricEngland.org.uk
Post: Government Advice Team, Historic England, 4th Floor Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London, EC4R 2YA
*Members of the Harlestone Parish Council will be meeting on Wed 13th December to formulate their response, if you would like any comments considered in the response, please email the HPC EO/Clerk by 20:00hrs on Tuesday 12th: harlestoneclerk@btinternet.com