Neighbourhood Plans – the process of independent examination

Ahead of the upcoming vote on Raunds’ Neighbourhood Plan and likely also due to the questioning of the review process as a result of the Warth Park debate, ENDC have released the below clarifications regarding the process:

“Preparation of Neighbourhood Plans is led by the designated statutory “Qualifying Body.

This is usually a. Town or Parish Council.  Once the Qualifying Body (in consultation with the local community) is happy with the Plan, the regulations require that they submit it to East Northamptonshire Council for independent examination.  At this point the relevant Town/ Parish Council “hands over the baton” to East Northamptonshire Council to take the process forward.

Once a Neighbourhood Plan is submitted, the regulations governing the process (Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 and subsequent amendments), follow the stages below.

  1. East Northamptonshire Council checks the submitted Neighbourhood Plan, to ensure that the Plan and supporting documentation comply with the relevant statutory requirements (the “Regulation 15” check).
  2. As soon as possible after submission, East Northamptonshire Council must then undertake a statutory 6-weeks consultation, around the “Basic Conditions”; the tests that a Neighbourhood Plan must meet to be adopted (the “Regulation 16” consultation).
  3. Following the “Regulation 16” consultation East Northamptonshire Council, having consulted the Qualifying Body, must appoint an independent examiner to assess the Neighbourhood Plan against the “Basic Conditions”; informed by feedback from the Regulation 16 consultation.
  4. The appointed independent examiner will assess the Plan against the Basic Conditions (further information about this is available through the Neighbourhood Planning page).  This process takes around 2-3 months and is normally dealt with by way of written representations, although on occasions the examiner may require an informal hearing.
  5. Once the examiner has finalised and delivered his/ her report (approximately 4-5 months after submission) East Northamptonshire Council is required to publish the report.  Publication of the examiner’s report also triggers a period of 56 working days (i.e. 11 weeks/ 2 ½ months), within which the referendum must be held unless an extension is agreed with the Qualifying Body. East Northamptonshire Council  will consult with  the Qualifying Body (Town/ Parish Council) to see if they approve the Neighbourhood Plan (incorporating the examiner’s modifications) in order to see the Plan progress to referendum.
  6. Following the referendum, East Northamptonshire Council has 8 weeks in which to “make” (adopt) the Neighbourhood Plan as part of the statutory development plan for East Northamptonshire.

Overall, the process (from submission to “making”/ adoption) of a Neighbourhood Plan should take around 8-9 months.”

About Mike Turner (Admin)

Mike has lived in Raunds since 2008. A graduate from The University of Greenwich in Computer Science; he wanted to bring more technology to use for the community and to interact so he created Town Voice in 2014.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. So, the big question then, arising from point 5 is, do the Raunds Town Council agree with the plan after the amendments have been put forward by the examiner?

    • Steph Bayley, from what i have read, the Council must agree with the Plan otherwise they wouldnt have voted to have this referndum. Surely if they didnt agree, they would have voted against it? thats what i am hoping anyway as i want to protect all of Raunds.

  2. The process was never the problem as we can’t effect that… The clarification needs to be around the details in the plan… Tbh it’s now a complete farce after yesterday’s announcement as it it totally clear that no matter what we want there is always going to be someone who will over rule it… It would appear from where I’m sitting that East Northamptonshire council are going through a process to tick a box off their list and will do whatever they please anyway

  3. Im not just talking about Warth Park though. I’m referring to the plan as a whole.

  4. Lol Steph Bayley if you can get them to answer..I asked last Week, They are not allowed to influence the vote either way and cannot explain what we are voting for exactly… Who will vote… Exactly nobody so whatever is on the plan will go through either way

  5. I understand that that the councillors are not allowed to influence us. However, the statement specifically refers to the Town Council acceptance of the plan before the referendum. So, the decision should be public knowledge.
    It’s not asking for individual councillor opinions, but the council as a whole. 😊

  6. Have i not understood something, i thought the Councilhad already voted to support the Plan, that is why there is a referendum in the first place.

  7. oK so i have just checked on there web site, and it clearly says that the Council think the neighbourhood Plan is so important it had to go to public vote without delay. so i was right, the Council do want the Plan to go ahead. So we should vote Yes then?

  8. Yes sorry I’m confusing you… I asked last week for the council to simplify the plan… Yes they are backing the plan but many people on this forum, myself included have received their voting forms and had no clue what they were for… I wanted the points in the plan that they are proposing simplified from the… What was it over 60 pages…

  9. The document they released today if I understand correctly is just a confirmation of the process and we were told last week that there would be more information shortly.. This for me today is not the information I wanted. I don’t want individual councilors opinions, I just want clarity on the actual plan.

  10. I’m a little behind and don’t actually know what we are voting for?
    Can anyone help?

  11. Why haven’t they put a booklet in everyone’s door so we know what it’s all about?

  12. My understanding, which may be wrong, is that RTC submitted a plan to ENC who asked for changes. These were made and the new plan ( the one we are voting for) was agreed by RTC. The changes removed the Warth Park phase 3 area as green space.

    • I thought we were voting to say we want a say in what happens in raunds not just leave it to the council.🤔

    • Heather – I think the vote is to establish whether the plan should be adopted or not.
      On your second point – I think the principle is that we do have a say, by electing councillors. How well it works, especially the tiered structure of councils and who is responsible for what is another matter.

    • The plan to build more factories on boarder Park?

    • Heather Clark – Last time I looked the proposal was for one big warehouse, with associated 40-tonners etc. This replaced the previous proposal for a number of smaller units, which only use vans and small lorries usually.
      I don’t think the Raunds Plan goes into specifics like that – it’s more of a policy document. I.e. it might designate areas for development, other for green space, etc. but not set out specifically what would go in those areas. That would be for planners to decide later (presumably consulting the Plan?).

    • But what’s the plan? I have no clue again now what we are voting for? 🙈

    • Iv asked what happens if the plans are rejected by us and no one can answer me Heather Clark.

    • Maria Ball no one seems to be able to say anything about it. How are we ment to vote on something that’s not been explained!
      I know there is 250 page essay people keep posting but it’s not saying this or this!

    • I know…..I was part of a discuisson on here last week about it too. Its as if they dont care of you vote or not….what does that tell you….?

    • Heather Clark – Well, you have to read it. It’s on-line at
      The whole thing hasn’t been very well publicised though.

    • From the first 30 pages of the 200 I ploughed through the plan sets out limits on new housing, warehouses and town redevelopment for the future. East Northamptonshire council and County Council have to consult and consider our wishes if planning and development is applied for if we vote in favour of the Town Plan, I guess it at least sets out our wishes to protect the town for the future… However is is legally binding, for example we have already hit our new housing target that was proposed to take us up to about 2031, therefore if planning is applied for is the answer definitely no or can it be overridden which then makes it all a waste of time… It is far too long to read end to end… My thoughts are best to say yes, however if you can’t be bothered to read it don’t moan at any further developments you don’t like… I’m going to vote in favour of it because any level of protective consideration is better than none in my opinion

  13. I don’t want the factory to be built I know that!

  14. I love the Neighbourhood Plan……. objective number 7 particularly…
    OBJECTIVE 7 – To promote sustainable development for future generations by protecting key environmental assets (e.g. green spaces and landscapes, natural and historic environment designations and taking account of constraints.

  15. Objective number 1 is also interesting ………. OBJECTIVE 1 – To ensure that new housing is provided in a suitable range of tenures, types and sizes so that local people of all ages can to continue to live in the town in a suitable home and to ensure that variety of new housing is attractive to families who wish to re-locate to the area

    Not seen many (or should I say any) bungalows on the new developments as yet…..or have I missed them? Surely to achieve this objective there should be housing for people who prefer / need single storey living? If there were more bungalows then this would free up more family homes in the long run. This obviously will not happen as bungalows occupy too much space and so reduce profit for developers!!

  16. We’ll be voting ‘No’ as it appears that the land directly behind the London Road houses is designated as ‘A Protected Local Employment Site’ for the development of offices, industry and warehouses which “will be encouraged in these areas.” (6.29, Policy R13, Page 32)

  17. Under Policy 8, the Library is listed as a protected building. In view of it being listed to be closed, does that mean the library is protected or not? If we vote YES does that protect the Library? St Johns Ambulance Rooms are in the same list, and they stand as a empty shell. So they are not protected Right?

  18. Steph Bayley for our local MP , 😉😂xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *