The Development Plan for the area comprises the Joint Core Strategy Local Plan (Part 1) and saved policies of the South Northamptonshire Local Plan.

Policy S4 of the Joint Core Strategy is of particular relevance insofar as it relates to the Northampton Related Development Area, in addition to policy S1 and policy R1 dealing with the spatial strategy for rural areas.

A previous planning application for this site proposing up to 50 dwellings including vehicular access, pedestrian links, public open space, car parking, landscaping and drainage was submitted to the Council in March 2014 and subsequently refused, allocated reference S/2014/0373/MAO.

Joint Core Strategy Policy R1 does not preclude development in the rural areas.  The strategy seeks to provide new housing commensurate with the position of a settlement in the hierarchy.

The Northampton Related Development Area seeks to enable development providing for the needs of Northampton in locations outside the borough.  Joint Core Strategy Policy S4 does not preclude development outside the NRDA, but does make clear that any such development should only be supported if it meets the vision, objectives and policies of the Joint Core Strategy.

The proposal could result in conflict with some planning policies, and accordance with others.  In such circumstances a planning balance, weighing the positives and negatives and coming to an overall conclusion is required.

In the planning balance there could be a series of benefits to arise, including the provision of market housing, affordable housing and economic benefits.

On the other side of the balance, the site lies in open countryside and was previously considered to cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.

We welcome thoughts on the extent of positives and harms, and the weight to be attached to these.