The North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (JPU) was formally established in October 2004 by Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire Councils, together with Northamptonshire County Council.
The JPU is funded through contributions from the local planning authorities, and was established to prepare the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (JCS) and support the local authorities with strategic planning.
The Joint Planning Committee was established in July 2005 as the formal decision making body for the JPU, and was the first such committee established under new planning legislation. It is made up of 3 elected members from each council and is responsible for agreeing the Joint Core Spatial Strategy and other joint planning policy work, but has no development control powers, which remain with the individual district/borough councils.
The first Joint Core Strategy was adopted in June 2008 and set out the framework for long term change and development in North Northamptonshire, including housing, jobs, shopping and the environment alongside policies to manage development. It identified large mixed-use urban extensions as the key building blocks for sustainable growth, creating well planned and managed new neighbourhoods that integrate physically and socially with the existing towns.
The review of the JCS, adopted in 2016 covers the period from 2011-2031 and maintains this strategy. Six Garden Communities are identified at the Growth Towns of Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Rushden, with a combined capacity to deliver over 25,000 new homes alongside a range of strategic employment sites. The JCS also identifies the potential for an exemplar Garden Village within East Northamptonshire (now known as Tresham Garden Village). The JCS contains a range of policies to guide how change will be managed, to achieve high quality development, with a strong emphasis on design, setting out place shaping principles for North Northamptonshire.
The JCS forms Part 1 of the Plan for North Northamptonshire. Based on the framework provided by the Plan, the individual Councils are working to prepare more detailed plans (Part 2 Local Plans), including non-strategic site specific proposals, policies to manage development at a local scale and proposals for the town centres.
In 2015, the Joint Delivery Unit (JDU) and Joint Delivery Committee was established to coordinate and drive delivery of the SUEs and supporting infrastructure.
The JPU and JDU merged in 2017 to form the JPDU and continue to work in partnership with the four local authorities, Northamptonshire County Council and government partners to deliver the extensive growth ambition for North Northamptonshire.