The Inspector has found that the Joint Core Strategy for West Northamptonshire is sound provided that modifications are made. The Joint Core Strategy was produced by Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council and South Northamptonshire Council working as a Joint Planning Unit. The modifications recommended by the Inspector had been proposed by the Councils as main modifications. The modifications include:
- Increasing the total number of new houses by 7,500 new units and changing the plan to do this by:
- Extending the end of the plan period to 2029
- Increasing the number of houses to be delivered each year by 367
- Adding another sustainable urban extention (SUE)
- Expanding already proposed SUEs and increasing their total housing numbers
- Allocating land for employment development (although not as much as had previously been proposed)
The pre-submission draft Core Strategy was published by West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit for consultation between 17 February 2011 and 31 March 2011.
A schedule of main changes as well as a schedule of minor changes was the published for a consultation betwee 31 July 2012 and 26 September 2012. These changes were made to reflect representions made in the first round of consultation as well as the publication of the NPPF.
The draft plan was then submitted for examination on 31 December 2012. An Inspector was apointed and the first round of hearings were held on 16 April 2013 and 1 May 2013. As a result of these hearings the Inspector advised that the strategy's Housing figures be revised, to take into account the latest ONS household projection figures. The Inspector also requested that the Council's produce Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) Addendum Report to remedy acknowledged shortcomings.
The hearings then resumed on 18 and 21 March 2014 before the Inspector went away to write his final report.