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, as arrangements for planning committees has been announced.
On 1 April, the new council will replace the current planning authorities of Northamptonshire, Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire councils as part of a major reorganisation of local government in the county.
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, which 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 and their planning applications will continue to be processed and dealt with in the usual way.
Commenting, Planning Portfolio Holder for West Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, Councillor Adam Brown 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.”