Ecton Village

History of the Neighbourhood Plan

10th May 2021

The Referendum results are in and we are pleased to announce that 87.77% of voters, voted in favour of the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan. The Ecton Neighbourhood Plan will now play a key role in determining the way development proposals are considered in the parish.

Please click the link to see the results 

April 2021

For up to date information on the Ecton Neighbourhood Development Plan Referendum, please click on this link

March 2021 - Ecton Neighbourhood Development Plan Referendum


The History of the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan to date

Neighbourhood Area Designation 

An application was submitted to BCW for the designation of the entirety of Ecton Parish as the neighbourhood area for the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan. Comments were invited on the application with the final date for responses falling on Friday 12 December 2014. Following the close of the consultation period, no objections were received and the parish has therefore been designated for neighbourhood planning purposes.

Following receipt of all associated documentation, the legality of the plan proposal was checked. Confirmation was issued by BCW to Ecton Parish Council confirming that the plan is legal in every respect.

The details of Ecton's area application and designated area can be found below:

Consultation on the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan

Following the successful legal check process, the submission version of the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan was out for consultation for eight weeks between 16 December 2019 and 10 February 2020.

Copies of the above submission documents were made available to inspect at the council offices in Tithe Barn Road, at Earls Barton and Wellingborough Libraries, and at the Three Horseshoes Public House, 23 High St, Ecton during normal opening hours.

Responses were accepted by:


online consultation portal:

and in writing to BCW at: Planning Policy, Swanspool House, Doddington Road, Wellingborough. NN8 1BP

Representations could include a request to be notified of the local planning authority's decision under Regulation 19 of whether the plan can proceed to referendum.

All representations received were passed to the independent examiner for consideration. The examiner then considers whether the proposed neighbourhood plan meets the basic conditions and other requirements set out by law.

All representations received are available to view on the BCW website  Click here to be taken to the relevant page In total there were 10 respondents.


February 2020

Information on the independent examination

The council has appointed Christoper Collison BA(Hons) MBA MRTPI MIED MCMI IHBC to conduct the examination of the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan and assess whether the plan meets the basic conditions tests (as described in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) and should move forward to referendum.

We have now received an initial letter from the Inspector which can be viewed here.

Further updates on the progress of the examination will be posted here when available or click here for the BCW dedicated page.

Borough Council Wellingborough have now received an initial letter from the Inspector which can be viewed here.

A copy of the Ecton Parish Council's response to the examiners letter. Ecton Parish Council - Response to the reg 16 consultation responses

Ecton Parish Council and Borough Council Response to the Inspector's questions

Examiner Letter to Ecton Parish Council and Borough Council of Wellingborough Inviting Participation in a Fact Check of a Confidential Draft Report

Ecton Neighbourhood Plan: Examiner's Report

The council issued its Decision Statement following the receipt of the Examiners Report. This confirms that the plan, subject to some modifications, could proceed to referendum. The Decision Statement can be viewed below:

Ecton Neighbourhood Plan: Council Decision Statement- May 2020


A version of the plan has now been published which will be used in the public referendum of the plan. This version of the plan can be viewed here.

It is currently proposed that the referendum will take place in May 2021.

Further updates on the progress of the referendum will be posted here when available.

Back Ground on the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan

A Neighbourhood Plan enables a local community to have a greater say about the use and development of land and buildings in their area. If a plan is prepared and agreed by the community in a referendum it will become part of the development plan for the area and will be used in the determination of planning applications.

The Ecton Neighbourhood Plan (the Plan) will provide a shared vision of our neighbourhood together with a number of objectives and planning policies to help realise the vision. It will cover a 15 year period (2016-2031).

Preparation of the Plan is the responsibility of the Parish Council. In 2012 it set up a Steering Group composed of members of the Parish Council and the community to prepare the Plan for the Parish.

This page will be updated as the Plan progresses and is the place to find information on the key stages of consultation, including how to comment, as well as any accompanying documentation.

Current stage

A version of the plan has now been published which will be used in the public referendum of the plan. This version of the plan can be viewed here.

It is currently proposed that the referendum will take place in May 2021.

Submission of the Plan (Regulation 15) and Regulation 16 consultation

The Borough Council undertook its consultation on the Submission Version of the Plan between 16th December 2019 and 10th February 2020.

Ecton Parish Council formally agreed on 17th September 2019 to submit the Plan to the Borough Council of Wellingborough (the Borough Council) along with other supporting documents required under Regulation 15 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012, as amended. The Parish Council also submitted a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) screening report required by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, as amended. 

The submitted documents can be accessed using the following links:

Ecton Neighbourhood Development Plan - Submission Version

Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Basic Conditions Statement

Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Statement

Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitat Regulations Assessment Screening Determination

In addition, the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Evidence Base includes links to key documents, including the main sources of published evidence used in preparing the Plan.

Following receipt of the documents, the legality of the Plan was checked by the Borough Council which, on 26th November 2019, confirmed that the Plan complies with a number of statutory requirements:

BCW Legal Check letter BCW

BCW Legal Checklist

Further information regarding the consultation, including details of how to comment on the Plan, are set out on the Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Information page of the Borough Council’s website.

During the consultation period (16th December 2019 to 10th February 2020) the Plan and submission documents could be viewed during normal opening hours at the following locations:

  • Three Horseshoes, 23 High St, Ecton
  • Wellingborough library
  • Earls Barton library
  • Borough Council of Wellingborough offices, Tithe Barn Road, Wellingborough

What happens after the consultation ends?

  • Following the Regulation 16 consultation, the Plan will be submitted for examination by an independent examiner. The examiner will issue a report which will recommend whether the Plan should proceed to a referendum or not and will indicate any changes that should be made to the document.
  • Subsequently, the Borough Council will consider the examiner’s report and make any necessary changes to the Plan.
  • If the Plan is to proceed to a referendum, you will be given the opportunity, provided that you are on the electoral roll for Ecton, to vote on whether the Plan should be brought into force. We hope to reach this stage in the summer of 2020.
  • Should more than half of the votes cast be in favour of the Plan, it will come into force as part of the statutory Development Plan for Ecton.

Earlier stages in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan

  1. Neighbourhood Area Designation

The Parish was designated as a ‘neighbourhood area’ by the Borough Council of Wellingborough on 15th December 2014. The following documents can be viewed on the Borough Council’s website:

Application statement

Designation letter

Neighbourhood Plan Area map

  1. Ecton Neighbourhood Plan 2013 Questionnaire

A questionnaire was sent to every residence in the parish as well as businesses and organisations.  It provided an opportunity for the local community to express their views on a number of issues and the questionnaire results influenced the preparation of the Emerging Draft Plan.

  1. Emerging Draft Plan

Consultation took place between 3rd October 2016 and 30th November 2016 on an Emerging Draft Plan. A consultation event was held in the Village Hall on the 15th October.  A schedule, summarising comments received and setting out the response of the Steering Group, can be found in the Emerging Draft Summary of Representations and Responses. The consultation and changes in the planning context resulted in a number of amendments to the Plan which were incorporated into a ‘Pre-submission Draft Plan’.

  1. Pre-submission Draft (Regulation 14) Plan

Consultation on the Pre-Submission Draft Plan (April 2019) took place between April 15th and May 31st 2019.

Neighbourhood Plan leaflet providing a brief summary of the Plan and details of how to comment was delivered to households in the Parish. In addition, a drop-in session was held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 21st May, prior to the Annual Meeting of the Parish and the Annual Parish Council Meeting. Other key stakeholders were also informed of the consultation.

A schedule summarising comments received and setting out the response of the Steering Group and Parish Council can be found in the Pre-Submission Schedule  of Representations and Responses (September 2019) (which also forms Appendix 2 of the  Ecton Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Statement). The consultation resulted in a number of amendments to the Plan which were incorporated into the ‘Ecton Neighbourhood Development Plan Submission Version’ (see ‘current stage, above).