No changes for council’s new local plan

Published Friday 22 December 2023

Independent specialist planning advice has been sought by the council following the release of the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The advice was requested by Harborough District Council to see if the new NPPF will affect the decision taken by Full Council on 18 December 2023 to progress with the development of its new local plan 2020-2041.

The advisory note from Intelligent Plans and Examinations based on a review of the revised NPPF (December 2023) and its implications for the Harborough Local Plan stated:

‘From our review of the revised NPPF there are no revisions or amendments contained in the document that require the Council to reconsider any of the recent decisions that it has taken concerning its new Local Plan. In a number of respects, the revisions serve to reinforce the rationale for those decisions.’

‘Our advice to the Council is to maintain its progress in preparing its new Local Plan on the basis of the revised NPPF, which contains no revisions or amendments that would justify a different approach being taken at this time.

Cllr Phil Knowles, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “Throughout this process we have committed to be open and transparent with residents. Pressing ahead with a new Local Plan has not been an easy decision to take but we have sought special planning advice and Kings Counsel advice throughout to ensure we were doing the right thing for our district and our residents.

“This latest advice will also be published on our website so everyone can see the lengths we are going to in order to ultimately protect the Harborough district from unwanted speculative development in places that our communities don’t want it. Between 2020-2023 the council delivered around 1,000 homes per year and has two large strategic sites allocated at Lutterworth East and Scraptoft North. By including these completions and commitments it means only approximately 340 dwellings per year need to be planned for going forward. Officers will continue to plan for 340 houses per year during the local plan period which was clearly explained and stated to all at our recent Council meeting by our Director of Planning.”

Public engagement in what the new local plan should contain will start in the new year, with the first public consultation in the preparation of the district’s new local plan, the ‘Issues and Options’ consultation running from 16 January 2024 to 27 February 2024.

The target completion of the new local plan is May 2025.

The advisory note referenced above has been published on our website and can be found under 'Reports'.