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Northamptonshire - Three years on from unitary


We hosted a breakfast event at Northampton’s Cinch Stadium in Franklin’s Gardens, to mark three years since Northamptonshire moved to a unitary authority structure.

The panel discussion, chaired by Meeting Place’s Helen Goral, featured Councillor David Brackenbury (North Northamptonshire Council), Councillor Dan Lister (West Northamptonshire Council), Stuart Tym (Knights), Robbie Locke (Cora), and Bente Klein (RWE).

Panellists drew upon their shared expertise in local government, planning, housebuilding, and renewable energy to detail their regional and national aspirations for the built environment.

Councillor Brackenbury stressed the importance of community engagement in the planning process, with this being a pertinent issue in Northampton and beyond. Amid the challenges presented by resource constraints in council planning teams across the country, collaboration with local communities is essential to achieving efficiency and securing stakeholder buy-in.

Through further discussion, we were able to expand upon key issues raised by the panel, which explored:

  1. Unlocking Northamptonshire’s potential as a destination and a centre of opportunity
  2. Creating sustainable long-term growth which looks far into the future
  3. Promoting renewable energy to the public and achieving consensus between local and national government on renewables
  4. Drawing up effective local plans which work for communities and developers alike

The best outcomes are achieved when private and public sector organisations can work together with a shared ambition, combining local knowledge with specialist skills to overcome practical and political difficulties.

The event encapsulated the value of sharing skills and expertise between the private and public sectors and different built environment specialisms such as housebuilding and renewable energy. The importance of this approach in the face of shared challenges – such as the national shortage of planners – cannot be overstated.

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