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Employment park plans to proceed after Government review

21 June 2022

People sitting around a desk looking at paperwork

Plans for a new employment park north-west of the A43 at Towcester will go ahead, after the Government decided not to examine them in more detail.

The application for land to the east of Tiffield Road to the north west of the A43 Towcester (also known as AL3) was formally put on hold by the Secretary of State for further review in March this year.

The move came after West Northamptonshire Council’s Strategic Planning Committee was minded to approve outstanding access and highways matters for the application, which had already been agreed in principle by planners at the former South Northants Council before the new unitary council was formed.

On Thursday (16 June), following a wait of more than three months, the Council was finally notified by the Government that it had decided not to ‘call in’ the application for further review and examination, meaning that the decision to approve the scheme should now proceed and the council is obliged to issue the formal approval.

In the letter to the Council, officials from the Government’s Planning Casework Unit said the Secretary of State had decided not to call in this application and ‘is content that it should be determined by the local planning authority.’

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “Having taken over three months to come to a decision it is clear the government have been thorough in their consideration of the application. By deciding not to call in the application for examination, an option that was open to them, the Government has made it clear that we must now continue to proceed with the remaining stages of the planning approval process, with no other options now available.

“We know there is much strong feeling surrounding this planning application and that many people have been waiting for the past three months whilst the Secretary of State considered it to find out the outcome.

“Having inherited an application that the previous local authority had effectively granted permission on, a decision based on existing policies in the South Northants local plan, we continue to work with developers and residents to ensure we get appropriate development in the right places in the future, providing clarity and guidance that will assist all parties.”