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Difficulties with the  West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit site

Introduction

The WNJPU site was originally very difficult to navigate and contained a series of errors, which were not corrected quickly and varied over time. Without notice, on the 20th June 2010 the site was redeveloped and it is now far more accessable.

Many of the issues have now been resolved. However, a number of documents are no longer available on the site, and some links fail, or are blocked. Where these are found, or occur in the future, alternative links will be sought, or where possible, the information will be added to our Brafield on the Green village site.

To go to the Joint Planning Unit's home page, click on the following link:

West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit

Initial difficulties with the site

In this site you are normally expected to know what you are looking for, to search for individual documents by their title, and then download those documents to view the details. Often it is not possble to fully understand whether the documents contain the details you are searching for until you download and open them. There does not appear to be a general summary to the proposals and resulting consultations, that take you logically through the processes, linking you to the appropriate documents.  A 'Help' section would certainly be useful.

However, the site did contain the main strategy document related to these new plans. It was a 94 page document published on the site on 26th June 2009, named 'West Northamptonshire Emergent Joint Core Strategy 2009'. 

You could view this main council strategy document by clicking on the header called 'Joint Planning Committee'.   This section contained three pages of downloadable documents. You could enter search dates or the title to locate the document to download.  However, this has now been removed. 

It was difficult to find documents, so a direct link to the document was added to this village site.  However, it was discovered on 21 Aug 2009 that this document was not the most recent version of the emergent strategy.  Bound printed copies of another version were available at the JPU exhibition in the village.  This printed version, now dated July 2009, has 111 pages.  I has the same title, but now has  'Published for Consultation July 2009'  added to the front page. This new version could not be located on the main JPU site, but was found the consultation site.

Public Consultation

Originally the JPU stated that consultaion with businesses and the public related to these new proposals would start mid July 2009, for a period of six weeks.  However, this period was delayed and new dates were announced.

On 26th July it was stated that the main consultation period will be from 27th July 2009 until 11th September 2009.

On 24th Aug it was announced on the JPU site that the consultation period had been extended to 30th September 09.

Therefore the consultation period will now be from 27th July 2009 until 30th September 2009.   If you would like to view the letter announcing this latest change visit the JPU main site or click here to view the letter.

On 24th August the JPU issued a third questionnaire.   Questions 22, 23, 47, 53, 54 & 55 have been revised. 

Please check these questions, and use the new version if you have previously downloaded the old.

The new questionnaire is more easily identifiable in that it does comment on the changes on page 1.

For more details please check the letter which the JPU issued at the same time. Click here to link.

The new questionnaire has now been added to the main JPU website, and the JPU online consultancy site.

Unfortunately you cannot key your responses onto this questionnaire directly with your pc. It must be printed off and your responses written on the paper version.  An MS-Word version would have been a useful addition.

On 2nd September the JPU added a Word version of the questionnaire. It is a pity that it is not formatted correctly.  You cannot simply tick the boxes, and the comment areas do not expand.   

 

Supporting Information

Near to the end of of the Emergent Joint Core Strategy, in Appendix C, the JPU have provided lists of documents to support their proposals.  However, many of the links do not function, and a number of documents cannot be located. Corrected information was proved on our village site. The following link provides direct functional links for Appendix C1 and C2, with additional details of what can, and cannot, be found.

Appendix C. JPU Supporting Documents

 

Questionnaire

Please Note:  On 11th August the JPU issued a revised questionnaire.  Questions 53 to 55 were changed. 

Please check these questions, and use the new version if you have previously downloaded the old.

The questionnaires look the same, there are no dates or comments to identify it has been changed.

In the new version :     Question 53 refers to Northampton,

                                 Question 54 refers to Daventry

                                 Question 54 refers to Towcester

                                 Question 54 refers to Brackley

Please also note that as of 21st Aug the link to questionnaire on the main JPU site no longer functions.  On the site it states:   'The corrected version can be found here.'  but the link has been removed.  In addition, the questionnaire cannot now be located manually on the main JPU site or the consultancy site.

Please Note:  On 24th August the JPU issued yet another revised questionnaire. 

On this version Questions 22, 23, 47, 53, 54 & 55 have been revised.     A letter from the JPU gave details of the new wording within the affected questions.  Click on the above link to view the letter.  This new questionnaire is not identified with a release date or version number but is, at least, identified by the words 'August 2009' on each page. 

Comparing the different versions of the questionnaires shows that there was a mixture of incorrectly placed questions, missing information, and unrelated questions on the earlier versions. 

The new questionnaire has now been added to the main JPU website, and the JPU online consultancy site.

However, it is a pdf version. Therefore, you must physically print off the questionnaire and manually write on your responses.  It would have been useful to have provided a version which could be updated on the pc.

On 2nd September the JPU added a Word version of the questionnaire.  However, it is not formatted as a true enterable form.  The 'Yes' / 'No'  boxes cannot be ticked and the comment areas do not expand. Page formatting does not overflow correctly.

 

The bound paper copies of the latest emergent strategy document state, on the first page inside the cover, that a full copy of the questionnaire is included at the end on the document.  However, this is not the case.  You will find the questions embeded within the text, plus there is a subset of the questions at the end of each section of the strategy document, not at the end of the whole document.

 

Documents

The third heading on the JPU website is entitled  Documents

If you click on the Documents header directly, a seven page list of documents will be displayed for you to select from and download.  This appears to be a default for ALL documents.  You can then use the selection, search and sort criteria to locate documents, rather than by paging through the list. 

There is also a drop down list of fourteen Categories at the top left of each page which can be used to sub-select the list of documents, provided you know what you are looking for.  However, the width of the dropdown box is not wide enough to see the whole sub-category description. Therefore, there are four categories shown as 'Core Strategy->Core.......'.  These sub-categories descriptions do not appear on the selected lists, or anywhere else, so it is unclear what some of them really are.

Alternatively, if you hover over the Documents header, a drop down list of six other sub-headers are shown.  These appear to be sub-group selections of all the documents too.  If you click on one of these sub-header you are provded with a pre-selected sub-list of documents to download.

However, of you select a group from the sub-headers, and then select what you think may be the same from the pre-selected categories, you may get different selections appearing on the list.

 

Normally documents are listed / sorted by 'Title', in alphabetic order.  In addition, you can request them to be listed in Published Date order, or Updated Date order.  However, these sorts do not function correctly.  In summary:

  • The resultant lists provided are not normally in the correct date order - some are random.
  • Worse still the documents that are downloaded from these lists, are not always the ones described.

Be careful if you use these options.

 

Joint Planning Committee

There is a header on the JPU site called  Joint Planning Committee

If you click on this header you are taken into a three page list of documents that you can download from the full list of downloadable documents.  At the top of these pages are search, selection and sort criteria, which you can select from.

To the left of these you will also see a drop down selection header called  'Categories'  which is preselected with the words ' Joint Planning Con......' ,  which is all you can see. 

If you select other Catagories from the drop down list, they appear to work.  However, after paging forward from the first page it no longer functions and reverts to 'Joint Planning Committee' selection.  For example, if you select 'ALL', it will display 1 of 7 pages, but will revert when you page forward.

Therefore, only use this section to display  'Joint Planning Committee'  downloads. 

 

Consultations 

There is a core section in the site that should summarise the JPU's proposals and consultaions.

If the click on the header entitled  Consultations  this links you to a page that appears to contain a number of errors.

1.  The line which contains the text:

'The Joint Core Strategy Issues and Options Report can be found by clicking on the link here.'

appears to link to the wrong document (a flood risk assessment). 

Athough the JPU said they had fixed this on 22 July, it was not altered until the end of July.  It now links to what appears to be the correct document, but sections of the downloaded details are unreadable.

2.  The line containing the text:

As of 1st August the link now directs you to the correct document

3.  The line containing the text:

'A summary of the representations received during the Issues and Options consultation can be found here.'   does not contain a link to any other documents. 

After contacting the JPU this link was inserted on 24th July. It gives access to a subset of six documents, already on the site, which may be downloaded.

4. From the wording on the the Consultations page, you would imagine that there should be other links, especially further down the page, but none can be found.  Therefore, although this page is entitled 'Consultations' it contains little information on consulations, or links to any documents on the subject.

 

New JPU Consulation website

The JPU released the 'West Northamptonshire Emergent Joint Core Strategy 2009' for consultation on their online consulation website during August, but did not appear to actively announce this.

1. At the meeting in the village hall, people reported that they had difficulty accessing the site. Others have also commented that the site had hung when trying to access documents.  On one occasion a pc was left for over 30 minutes without sucessfully accessing the information required.

Please try again later, or send us details of your difficulties to:    feedback@brafieldonthegreen.org.uk

2. The consultation site states that there are copies of the full questionnaire

  • as a downloadable support document on that site,
  • and as a section at the end of the online consulation document,

However, on 23rd Aug 2009, neither of these could be found on the consultation site.

 

 

Date last updated:  18 Sep 2009                                                                                         Valid until:  31 Dec 2026

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