Since 2011, the law has allowed communities to exert meaningful control and influence over planning decisions by formulating a Neighbourhood Plan. This is a complex process of research, verification, consultation and examination which culminates in a vote by the residents of the parish to either adopt or reject the Plan.
Over the last three years, Cottingham Parish Council, with considerable assistance and input from several residents, has developed a Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham. The Plan has passed through all the stages described above and will be put to a referendum vote by Cottingham residents on Thursday 17 February, 7am to 10pm in the Village Hall Annex.
The Plan sets out various policies and stipulations covering housing developments, ‘infill’ housing (e.g. single dwellings on cleared or unused plots, or conversion of redundant buildings), and the protection and preservation of the village’s environment and amenities. For example, only one entirely new housing development would be permitted within the village before 2031. The site selected for this, following last year’s consultation with Cottingham residents, would be Hill Farm on Rockingham Road, for a maximum of 10 houses, predominantly affordable homes for local people, of a design that is sympathetic to the character of the village.
Cottingham Parish Council will host an open Q&A session at the Village Hall Annex on Saturday 12 February, 10am – 2pm, where printed copies of the Plan will be available to view. Meanwhile, please don’t hesitate to contact any of your Parish Councillors with any questions, particularly:
- David Grayson, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 01536 771565
- George West-Robinson, email email@example.com, 07891 159155
- Tom Russel, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 07806 784212
Voting to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham in the referendum on 17 February is a one-time opportunity to affect decisions that will shape and protect our community. North Northants Council would be legally required to factor in the Plan’s policies when considering all applications for development within Cottingham. If the Plan isn’t adopted by a majority vote it will cease to exist.