Planners for 'hidden Cotswolds' balance growth with preservation

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 3 Sep 2015

New developmentA Northamptonshire local authority is using planning to balance pressures from economic and housing growth and demands to preserve its picturesque qualities.

East Northamptonshire Council executive director Sharn Matthews told Planning: “We are in an area of high growth with strong demand for homes and employment thanks to our location – 100 miles from most parts of the UK.

“We are currently masterplanning with developers for a new urban extension to Rushden to provide a modern, garden-community style settlement.

“This will balance 2,500 homes with increased high-quality local employment opportunities in an area appropriate for the 21st century.”

The council is seeking to recruit a head of planning to lead the development management service in the district.

Matthews said: “As well as urban areas, we also have beautiful countryside and the new head will help us get the growth balance right through planning policy and development management.

“The post holder will be working in an area that has led the way in joint core strategy development but which is also seeking to produce more localised plans to support this strategy. 

“The wider location offers the best of both worlds – an area described as the 'hidden Cotswolds’ that is also the focus for economic growth because of its strategic location and thriving SME culture.”

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Image: A new development in East Northamptonshire. Picture LXB