Referendum – FAQ


NNC have issued a decision statement regarding the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan:

“The Cottingham Neighbourhood
Plan now forms part of the development plan for the area.”

The date for the Referendum has passed and as such the declaration for the results can be found here:

Referendum results for Cottingham – Neighbourhood Planning Referendum, 17 February 2022 – North Northamptonshire Council (



Below are the FAQ’s that were available prior to the date of the Referendum:


Below are some questions and answers in relation to the referendum held on the Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham.

Abbreviations used in these FAQs:
CPC             Cottingham Parish Council
North Northamptonshire Council
Neighbourhood Plan
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood Plans allow communities to have more influence and control over their local area to ensure they get the right type of development for their neighbourhood.   By stipulating policies for a defined local area, they guide and influence decisions about planning applications, including new buildings or changes to existing buildings.

What area does the Neighbourhood Plan cover/protect?
All land which lies within the Cottingham Parish Boundary

What is the value of a Neighbourhood plan?
Having a thorough understanding of a neighbourhood area, and robust, clear, practical policies, can help build community confidence that new development will suit the housing, environmental and heritage needs of a community. Neighbourhood plans, once adopted, have significant weight in decisions about planning applications. 

Who produced the Neighbourhood Plan and how?

Initially the Plan was developed by Cottingham Parish Council in collaboration with residents,  and consultants.

The result was a draft plan which was then put out for consultation to Cottingham residents and to a wide range of stakeholders such as Anglian Water, English Heritage the local MP for Corby and the Environment Agency. The responses from the consultation modified the plan which was then submitted to the Planning Authority of North Northamptonshire Council which conducted their own consultation and made further modifications.

The next step was for an independent external examiner to thoroughly check the plan. The examiner accepted that the Plan was sound, was compliant with all relevant legal and policy requirements and could be put to a referendum.

What does the Neighbourhood Plan say?
Our NP is the outcome of a deep study and examination of Cottingham’s current situation (housing, environment, population, amenities, traffic, infrastructure etc), and its history (heritage, culture, significant places etc). 

There are many good reasons and purposes for doing this, but the most fundamental are:

  • to identify the key aspects that make life in our rural village important to all of us residents;
  • to identify the main threats to those key aspects (such as excess or inappropriate development, misuse of special green spaces etc);
  • To propose an approach that would best ensure their protection and preservation from the main threats.

The following extracts from the Plan are not a summary of the Plan (please read the Plan or at least those chapters that interest you).  However, they are the main statements that North Northants Council would have to factor in to any decisions about Cottingham over the next 9 years:

  • Any development must reflect the general character of the village and as far as possible, meet locally identified needs;
  • Hill Farm farmyard, Rockingham Road will be designated as the preferred site for new housing, with a maximum 10 dwellings.
  • The majority in any housing development will be homes of 3 bedrooms or less;
  • All new commercial and residential development, and modifications to existing buildings, must meet strict design criteria to ensure they are compatible with and ‘suit’ the local distinctiveness and character of the village;
  • All development plans should demonstrate that they will enhance local biodiversity;
  • All development should incorporate sustainable design and construction techniques to meet high standards for energy and water efficiency, including the use of renewable and low carbon energy technology;
  • The whole village environment will be protected from inappropriate development
  • Our most important local green spaces will have same level of protection in planning terms as the ‘Green Belt’ 
  • Development planning must include access to superfast broadband. Any above-ground installations must be sympathetically located.

You may be interested to read how the Plan addresses several other topics and proposed actions over its nine year lifetime including tree cover in the parish, establishing a traffic management plan, enforcement of the 7.5 tonne limit for HGV’s and traffic calming schemes. 

How long has the process taken?

The Plan has taken three years to produce.

Are Neighbourhood Plans legally binding?

If the outcome of the referendum is a majority vote that the Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham be formally adopted by North Northamptonshire Council, the Plan will attain the same legal status as NNC’s adopted Local Plan. At this point it comes into force as an integral element of the Statutory Development Plan.

Who administers the Neighbourhood Plan?

As is required by the relevant legislation, North Northants Council formally took over the administration of the NP from Cottingham Parish Council in the final stages of the process, and will be responsible for its future use and application. 

Who uses the Neighbourhood Plan?

If accepted by the residents of Cottingham, the NP will become a document that the NNC Planning Authority are legally required to take into consideration when they receive applications for development within our village.

How long is it applicable for?
If adopted, the Plan will be operational until 2031, with a statutory interim review scheduled for 5 years after adoption.

Who updates the NP?
North Northamptonshire Council, along with Cottingham Parish Council, will review and update the Plan in 2026

Can the Neighbourhood Plan be changed now?
No.  The Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham has successfully completed all legal stages of its development and is now presented as a final version which can only be either adopted or not adopted.  If adopted (i.e., a majority YES vote in the Referendum), the next opportunity to make alterations will be in 2026.  If it is not adopted at the referendum on 17th February 2022 then this Plan will, effectively, cease to exist.  It will be archived and never again put forward for adoption, review or amendment.

What is the referendum for?
It is important that the residents of Cottingham have the final say on the future of the Neighbourhood Plan.  It is a legal requirement that this happens and is has the Parish Council’s full support. But it is your plan.

What are the voting options in the referendum?
You will be asked to vote on the proposition – “Do you want North Northamptonshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Cottingham to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

Simply vote YES or NO.

When is the referendum?
February 17th 2022, between 7.00am and 10.00pm.

Where can I vote?
Cottingham/Middleton Village Hall. Berryfield Road, Cottingham 

Who can vote in the referendum?
Any person of voting age who is resident within the Parish of Cottingham.

What if the majority vote YES?
A majority YES vote will help protect the village’s rural nature, protect its heritage and prevent over development for the next 10 years as NNC have to refer to the NP at every planning meeting when considering development within Cottingham.

What if the majority vote no?
The Neighbourhood Plan will be lost, as would this one-off opportunity for a good degree of self-determination to attain the protections and preventions outlined above. NNC would not have any specific local considerations in relation to our village when considering development within Cottingham.

Does my vote count?
Absolutely – every vote counts!

How can I register to vote in the referendum?
You should have already received poll cards for the referendum.  If you have not received a card then get in touch with

If you are not registered to vote, applications to register to vote in this referendum must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at the Municipal Offices, Bowling Green Road, Kettering NN15 7QX by 12 midnight on Tuesday 1st February 2022. Applications can be made online:

Applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes, and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at Municipal Offices, Bowling Green Road, Kettering NN15 7QX by 5pm on Wednesday, 2nd February 2022.

Do any nearby communities have Neighbourhood Plans?
Yes. Gretton have completed their Neighbourhood Plan which has been adopted by NNC. Stanion, Weldon and Central Corby are working on their Plans. You can view Gretton’s Neighbourhood Plan and the progress on the others on NNC’s web site: Neighbourhood Planning | Corby Area

How can I view the Neighbourhood Plan?
A copy of the Neighbourhood Plan is available to view in the Village Store and Café and in the Corby Library. 

You can also view the Plan on the Parish Council’s website here or on the North Northamptonshire web site Neighbourhood Planning | Corby Area .  (You will have to scroll down to find Cottingham).

What can I do if I have other questions about the Neighbourhood Plan?
A question and answer session is to be held in the Cottingham/Middleton Village Hall on

Saturday 12th February, 10.00am to 2.00pm. 

You can also contact one of the following Parish Councillors:


David Grayson –; 01536 – 771565 

George West-Robinson –; 07891  – 159155

Tom Russel –; 07806 – 784212 


Any of your other Parish Councillors will also be pleased to try to help. 




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