Northampton Planning Policy

Northampton Development Plan

The Development Plan is the name given to the portfolio of planning policies that are used in determining planning applications across Northampton.

West Northamptonshire Local Development Scheme (LDS)

An LDS sets out and timetables the key planning policy documents that the Council will prepare to plan for development in the area.

An LDS for West Northamptonshire was approved by Cabinet on 28 June 2022 and came into effect on 8 July 2022.

The LDS sets out the timetable for the preparation of the West Northamptonshire Strategic Plan and the remaining stages leading to the adoption of the Northampton Local Plan Part 2..

Northampton Local Plan (Part 2)

We are preparing the Northampton Local Plan (Part 2).

The Plan will provide detailed planning policies to manage and guide development across the borough. It will replace the remaining Saved Policies from the Northampton Local Plan (adopted 1997). We are also considering whether some of the policies of the Central Area Action Plan need updating.

The West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy Local Plan (Part 1)

This sets out the long-term vision and objectives for the whole of the area covered by Northampton Borough, Daventry District and South Northamptonshire councils for the plan period up to 2029, including strategic policies for steering and shaping development, together with strategic site allocations. The Joint Core Strategy forms part of the Development Plan for Northampton borough.

West Northamptonshire Strategic Plan

The West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (JPU) is a partnership of Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council, and Northamptonshire County Council.

It was originally established to support the work of the Joint Strategic Planning Committee, particularly through the preparation of the Joint Core Strategy for West Northamptonshire, which was adopted in December 2014.

The partner councils have now established a new Joint Planning and Infrastructure Board (JPIB) which will oversee the preparation of a new Strategic Plan for the West Northamptonshire area. The JPU are supporting the work of the JPIB.

The new plan will follow on from the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy, which needs updating to reflect revised national policies and changing local circumstances. These include plans for a new West Northamptonshire unitary authority and the area’s location within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc which the government has identified as an area of significant economic potential.

Please find out more by visiting the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit's website.

Central Area Action Plan (CAAP) 2013  

This forms part of the Development Plan for Northampton borough.

Northampton Local Plan 1997  

Some of the policies within the Local Plan have been ‘saved’, forming part of the Development Plan and are still used for the purposes of determining planning applications. You can find a definition of ‘saved policies’ on the Planning Portal.

Some saved policies have been removed from the Development Plan by policies within the adopted West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy Part 1 Local Plan and the Northampton Central Area Action Plan.

Interactive Policies Map  

An interactive policies map showing the current Development Plan policies and proposals for Northampton borough is available on the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit's website.

Northampton Housing Action Plan

Supplementary Planning Documents and Interim Policies

Supplementary Planning Documents are intended to expand upon policies included in Development Plan documents. They may be site specific (e.g. development briefs or master plans) or topic-based (e.g. design guides).

Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits Special Protection Area (SPA) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – Adopted November 2021

Addendum to the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SPA SPD: Mitigation Strategy – Adopted March 2022

The Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SPA SPD was adopted by West Northamptonshire Council on 9 November 2021.

 The Addendum to the SPD – the Mitigation Strategy – was adopted by West Northamptonshire Council Planning Policy Committee on 16 March 2022.

Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document (November 2019)

This SPD provides guidance for landlords, applicants and development management on how to manage the concentration, impact and quality of HMOs in Northampton.

Northampton Parking Standards Supplementary Planning Document (November 2019)

This SPD applies Northamptonshire County Council's latest parking standards and expands upon them to incorporate specific guidance to address parking issues in Northampton, including design and the need to provide infrastructure for charging electric vehicles.

Specialist Housing Supplementary Planning Document (November 2019)

This SPD addresses housing needs for older people and disabled people and provides guidance to ensure new provision is desirable, suitable and in the right locations.

Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document for Northamptonshire

This SPD outlines the process for identifying biodiversity features which could impact an application site. It guides the user through the practicalities of applying the mitigation hierarchy to first avoid, mitigate and then compensate for biodiversity impacts. It includes a more robust, step-by step biodiversity checklist to assist applicants when filling out planning application forms.

Northamptonshire County Council SPD for Parking Standards (2016)

Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits SPA SPD

Battle of Northampton 1460 Conservation Management Plan SPD (July 2014)  

This SPD provides guidance in relation to how development proposals should take into account issues related to the Battle of Northampton Registered Battlefield.

Nene Meadows SPD (2014)  

This SPD provides guidance for future proposals and informing developers and investors of appropriate land use proposals for the Nene Meadows Area of the town, which comprises Becket's Park, Nene Meadows and Barnes Meadow.

Planning Obligations SPD (2013)  

This SPD outlines our strategy for securing relevant developer contributions in relation to mitigating the impacts of new development.

Affordable Housing Interim Statement (2013)  

This statement sets out Northampton Borough Council's position on affordable housing alongside practical details of delivery.

Northampton Shopfront Design Guide SPD (2011)

This guide assists retailers and commercial operators when they want to make alterations to or replacing a shopfront, and the planning authority when determining the appropriateness of such changes.

Residential Extensions and Alterations Design Guide (2011)

This SPD assists householders in making alterations to and/or extending their property, and in understanding the planning process. It also defines the acceptable forms of design which will not only improve the appearance of their property but also the character of the street.

Local Development Orders

Local Development Orders are made by local planning authorities and give a grant of planning permission to specific types of development within a defined area. They streamline the planning process by removing the need for developers to make a planning application to a local planning authority. Currently there is one Local Development Order in Northampton borough covering St James Employment Area.

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans are a new level of planning policy and are prepared by town or parish councils (where these exist) or a Neighbourhood Forum. There are some specific rules and regulations relating to preparing Neighbourhood Plans. 

Statement of Community Involvement

The SCI sets out how the local community, business and other organisations with an interest in Northampton can engage with the planning system. This includes planning applications and planning policies such as the Local Plan.

The new SCI, adopted in January 2017, was modified in June 2018 to take account of legislative changes.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - Northampton Charging Schedule

CIL is a charge that can be placed on new development and is intend to be used to help towards funding a range of infrastructure requires to support development.

On 21 September 2015 we resolved to approve the CIL Charging Schedule and in accordance with Regulation 25 of the CIL Regulations (as amended) to take effect from 1 April 2016.

Authority Monitoring Report

The purpose of the Authority Monitoring Report is to monitor our progress against our Local Development Scheme and to assess the effectiveness of existing policy by monitoring appropriate data. Currently the West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (JPU) prepares a Joint Authorities Monitoring Report on an annual basis. The most recent AMR and previous years' AMRs are available on the JPU's website.

Five Year Housing Land Supply

West Northamptonshire Council has produced a Five Year Housing Land Supply Position Statement and Reports for 2021.  The last page of the document contains links to individual Five Year Housing Land Supply Reports for Northampton, the Northampton Related Development Area, Daventry (excluding the NRDA) and South Northamptonshire (excluding the NRDA).

Self-Build and Custom Build Register

The Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 places a duty on local councils in England to keep and have regard to a register of people who are interested in self-build or custom-build projects in their area. This register will help inform the council of the level of demand for self-build and custom-build plots in the area.

With effect from 31st October 2021 (the start of the new Base Year), a new register has been created for West Northamptonshire.

More details can be found on the West Northamptonshire website, including the local connections criteria which need to be met to enter onto part 1 of the register and the applicable fee.

Monitoring information for the former Northampton Borough area, (see below), identifies how the Council is performing in terms of its duty to grant sufficient planning permissions.  This will be replaced after the end of the current Base Year with monitoring information for the West Northamptonshire area.

Base period for the council’s Self and Custom Build Register Deadline for granting ‘suitable planning permission’ for self-build plots for the Base Period Number of applicants joined Number of plots granted
Base Period 1 (21/03/16 - start of register to 31/10/16) 31/10/19 3 0
Base Period 2 (01/11/16 - start of register to 31/10/17) 31/10/20 14 0
Base Period 3 (01/11/17 to 31/10/18) 31/10/21 3 0
Base Period 4 (01/11/18 to 31/10/19) 31/10/22 6 14
Base Period 5(01/11/19 to 31/10/20) 31/10/23 5 0
Base Period 6(01/11/20 to 31/10/21) 31/10/24 8 3
Total   39 17