This week the ODPM launched a consultation into planning powers for the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC). Under the plans, it would become the local planning authority for most applications in Northampton town centre.
However, proposals affecting listed buildings, conservation areas, home alterations and advertisements would continue to be determined by Northampton Borough Council.
The WNDC was set up last year with a brief to regenerate the area, ensure water, electricity, gas and sewerage provision and manage, reclaim and dispose of land and property for growth. The area is a key part of the Milton Keynes-South Midlands growth region.
ODPM minister Baroness Andrews said: "We welcome the work done by the WNDC and the council to build this agreement and deliver benefits in regeneration and better management of the town centre." The public consultation is scheduled to last for six weeks.