Planning and local development is something that affects us all and the Woodford cum Membris Parish Council has a part to play in local planning matters.
As part of the planning system, your Parish Council can comment on all planning applications within the Parish (it cannot approve or reject them, though)
When the Council comments on planning, the properties making an application and the reference numbers can always be found in the minutes of the meetings.
The Council always advises which applications are going to be considered at a Parish Council meeting in the agenda.
Members of the public can comment to West Northamptonshire Council, Parish Councillors, or the Clerk beforehand. The public can also attend Council meetings to hear planning applications being discussed.
Since April 2018, Woodford cum Membris has an approved Neighbourhood Development Plan which is used in relation to local planning decisions.
In February 2020, Daventry District Council approved a conservation area in Woodford Halse and Hinton.
The Parish Council does not decide on local planning matters but it uses the views of local people and the local knowledge of councilors regarding planning applications.
The Parish Council can comment on plans, taking into account the views expressed by the general public at Parish Council meetings. The Parish Council makes recommendations to West Northamptonshire Council Planning Committee based on comments received and discussions at Parish Council meetings.
Comments may help to get plans changed and developments improved.
The Parish Council can also produce a neighbourhood plan to help local planning.
West Northamptonshire still uses the old Daventry District Council system that lets you search for the details of planning applications, including the plans.
You can also find details of planning applications in the Library or at West Northamptonshire Council offices.
West Northamptonshire Council provides access to the Planning Aggregator, a way to show all undetermined planning applications in a particular area or parish. The tool is accessible via their website.
To use the Planning Aggregator
If you wish to comment on or object to an application you must write to, or email, West Northamptonshire Council Planning Department, quoting the planning application reference number.
You can comment individually BUT comments that are also supported by the Parish Council will have additional influence on the District Council, so it is a good idea to have the Parish Council on your side. Please send a copy of your concerns to the Parish Clerk so that the Parish Council is aware of your views.
Only certain things can be considered in relation to planning applications. Here are the most important reasons why a planning application might be refused and things that you might want to consider commenting on or objecting about:-
There are some things that might concern you about an application that cannot normally be considered as part of the planning process. These include:
If you have concerns about work that could affect listed buildings you can also contact the Council for British Archaeology, English Heritage or the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings who are among various bodies with a role in advising on planning applications relating to listed buildings.
Not all modifications or developments need planning consent.
(An exception is for Listed Buildings where most development needs consent and for properties within the Conservation Area).
There is a helpful guide which looks at common domestic improvement projects (e.g. garage conversions, loft extensions, conservatories, etc) and provides guidance on whether or not they need planning consent.
You can access it on a site called the Planning Portal.
Parts of Woodford Halse and Hinton are included in a conservation area.
This affects what changes can be made to properties, fences and trees.
If you live in a Listed Building (you can find a list of all of them in the parish by searching for “Woodford Halse” or your post code on the Historic England Website) then different rules apply.
You will need Listed Building Consent if you want to alter or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest or if you want to demolish it.
You may also need Listed Building Consent for works on any buildings within the grounds of a listed building. The Council for British Archaeology can advise on proposed work on listed buildings.
Check the position carefully with West Northamptonshire Council.
It is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs Listed Building Consent without obtaining it beforehand.