Consultation and Engagement with the Community

If the whole Neighbourhood Plan (NP) process is to be successful it must be open to the whole community to contribute as they wish. At the completion of the project, the Plan must be approved by more than 50% of the voting community in a referendum. The best way to ensure this is that the vast majority of the community are engaged with the process as the Plan is formulated.

We intend to be proactive in this by:

  • Writing regular items for the Houghton News.
  • Keeping this website updated and publishing here as much information as we can.
  • Distributing leaflets or questionnaires as appropriate.
  • Participating in the annual Parish Meeting, and holding other open meetings.

If you would like to know more and perhaps become actively involved, please email Ian Hill at

Houghton News Articles

Neighbourhood Development Plan Pre-submission Consultations - June 27th - August 14th 2016

A flyer, giving details of the Neighbourhood Plan Pre-submission Consultation process, was delivered over the weekend of 25th-26th June 2016 to all parishioners. Stakeholders were also informed of the consultation process and meetings.

The flyer can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Details of the consultation process and downloadable copies of the Neighbourhood Plan Pre-submission Consultation Document and Comments Form can be found here.

Neighbourhood Plan Pre-submission Consultation Meeting - 6th July 2016

A consultation meeting was held in Houghton Village Hall on Wednesday 6th July 2016 at 19:30. Ian Hill gave a short presentation outlining the stages involved in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan with particular reference to what had been achieved to date and what still remains to be done before the Plan is 'made'.

Attendees of the meeting were invited to view, discuss and question the Pre-submission Consultation Document with members of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party. They were also encouraged to feed back their views on the Comment Form, which should be submitted before Sunday 14th August 2016.

Pre-submission Consultation Drop-in Sessions - 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th July 2016

Drop-in sessions are being held in the Village Hall Clubroom on Saturday mornings between 10am and 12 noon on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th July 2016.

Copies of the Pre-submission Consultation Document will be available to view and members of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party will be on hand to answer any questions that may arise. Feed back on this document will be encouraged and any comments should be submitted before Sunday 14th August 2016 on the Comment Form.

Annual Parish Meetings

Annual Parish Meeting April 2016

The Annual Parish Meeting was held on Thursday 28th April 2016 at 19:30 in the Village Hall, Main Street, Houghton-on-the-Hill with 45 parishioners, including guest speakers, in attendance.

County and District Councillor Simon Galton updated the meeting on the progress of Harborough District Council's (HDC) Local Plan. Currently 4 Options are being considered by HDC and, depending upon the Option selected, the impact on Houghton would be for a requirement to build anywhere between a minimum of 89 and a maximum of 130 dwellings during the period 2015 to 2030. It was noted that the lower and upper figures were not absolute and that an additional 15% should be factored in to allow for likely increases in national targets during the period covered by the Neighbourhood Plan.

Click to view more information on HDC's 'Planning policies - new Local Plan'

John Preston, Project Delivery Officer, Rural Community Council (RCC) and Ian Hill, Chairman of the Houghton Neighbourhood Plan Working Party (NPWP) gave a report on the progress of Houghton's Neighbourhood Plan (NP) (see PowerPoint presentation below).

John explained that the RCC had a key role to play in providing support for groups considering adoption of an NP and outlined the various steps involved in developing this.

Ian summarised some key statistics from the consultation questionnaire and laid out the anticipated time-line for the development and adoption of Houghton's Neighbourhood Plan, namely;

  • May 2016 - First draft plan produced. This will contain policies for housing, services and facilities, traffic and transport and environment.
  • June and July 2016 - Public consultation of the draft plan. After consideration of the feedback from parishioners and stakeholders, the edited draft plan will be submitted to Harborough District Council (HDC).
  • August and September 2016 - HDC assess the revised plan.
  • October 2016 – HDC provide their feedback, following which the plan will be submitted to the Independent Examiner.
  • January 2017 - Response prepared to the Examiner's findings.
  • February 2017 - Referendum arranged on final version and if more than half of those voting are in favour of the plan it will be passed to HDC for adoption.

Annual Parish Meeting April 2015

Members of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party (NPWP) delivered flyers to all households in the village, inviting them to attend the Annual Parish Meeting to be held on Wednesday 30th April 2015, 19:30 in the Village Hall, Main Street, Houghton on the Hill.

Helen Chadwick (Harborough District Council) and Ian Hill (NPWP) explained Neighbourhood Planning and its progress to date in Houghton.

Following conclusion of the agenda items, those present were invited to view…

…and to discuss Houghton's Neighbourhood Planning with members of the NPWP.

There was an opportunity for individuals to record their views on living in Houghton now and in the future via a 'greeting card' or through a Post-it notes board.

The information from the meeting was collated and analysed by theme (see attached documents below)

Stakeholder Meeting - March 2016

Landowners, local clubs and associations, businesses and infrastructure providers were invited to a Stakeholders' Meeting by the Rural Community Council (RCC), to be held on Wednesday 16th March 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm in the Village Hall, Main Street, Houghton on the Hill.

Following presentations by Ian Hill (Neighbourhood Plan Working Party - NPWP), Sam Howlett (RCC) and Helen Chadwick (Harborough District Council – HDC) the attendees and members of the NPWP were split into discussion groups. Each group considered the key issues and opportunities that the Houghton on the Hill Neighbourhood Plan will address – Housing and Use of Land; Traffic, Transport and Access; Landscape, Green Spaces and Heritage; Facilities and Services; Local Economy and Employment; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Phone and Internet Communications; Vision of Houghton in 10 Years Time.