England's third neighbourhood development order comes into force in Northamptonshire

A rarely-used neighbourhood planning tool has been formally approved by a Northamptonshire council, becoming only the third example of such an order coming into force across the country.

The BT telephone exchange building in Broughton (pic: David Hillas via Geograph)
The BT telephone exchange building in Broughton (pic: David Hillas via Geograph)

Neighbourhood development orders (NDOs), introduced under the 2011 Localism Act, can be used to grant planning permission for specified developments within a designated neighbourhood area.

Kettering Borough Council's executive committee last week 'made', or adopted, the Broughton Neighbourhood Development Order, which grants outline planning permission for up to seven homes on a site currently used as a BT telephone exchange. The order won approval in a referendum on 20 September by 616 votes to 41.

The NDO document says that the building "is considered to be a valuable strategic site for the village which will provide an excellent opportunity for the delivery of a development of smaller sized properties of one or two bedrooms for young people, single occupancy or later life downsizing which would be close to the village centre".

It says the landowners are "aware and supportive of the planning facilitation this NDO will provide". 

The NDO will have a lifetime of six years.

At the same meeting, the council also made the Broughton Neighbourhood Plan. The document identifies the BT site for future use as housing and includes a local minimum housing target of 87 homes.

The first NDO to be approved was the Cockermouth NDO in Cumbria, which was made by Allerdale Borough Council in September 2014. Created in response to severe flood damage which hit the town in 2009, the NDO - which expired last year - granted planning permission for certain forms of development and changes of use in defined areas of the town centre.

The second NDO - which was made earlier this year - relates to an individual site, Carr House, an isolated homestead that was formerly in Eden District but is now within the Yorkshire Dales National Park following a 2016 boundary change.

More details on last week's meeting of Kettering Borough Council can be found here.

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