South Northamptonshire Council is considering changes to the way in which it deals with planning applications for new housing in its villages. This follows two planning appeals in Potterspury and Cosgrove where development was allowed for housing on land previously considered to be unacceptable under existing planning policy. The Policy sets out those services and facilities that are considered to be ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ to a village. Scores were then applied to these facilities that produced a ranking for each village. In those villages considered to be most sustainable i.e. those with the highest scores, the Statement proposes that new housing development on suitable sites currently considered to be outside the village could be considered more favourably than in the past. The villages identified as being suitable for some additional housing development are: Blisworth, Bugbrooke, Deanshanger, Greens Norton, Hackleton, Hartwell, Kislingbury, Middleton Cheney, Nether Heyford, Old Stratford, Paulerspury, Potterspury, Roade, Silverstone, Yardley Gobion and Yardley Hastings The use of this Interim Policy is intended to be short term. It will be replaced by the emerging Local Development Framework or when it becomes clear that the Council has an appropriate amount of available land for housing to meet Government targets. Councillor John Townsend, portfolio holder responsible for Environmental Policy said: “It is critical that the Council reacts to these recent appeal decisions. The Council needs to control speculative planning applications coming forward randomly, particularly in unsustainable locations. “By considering this new approach it is hoped that new development required in the villages can be properly planned and directed to those villages most to accommodate some limited growth. If no action is taken, there are likely to be increasing numbers of appeals for housing development in villages within South Northamptonshire that will increase uncertainty for local communities.” The full document is available on the Council’s website at www.southnorthants.gov.uk . The consultation ends on Saturday, 30 May 2009.