3,000 homes 'must make town proud'

Massive plans to build 3,000 new homes on the outskirts of Towcester could be decided as early as next year.

Proposals for the large-scale development, which have been submitted to the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) by Persimmon and Bloor Homes, would see the Roman town stretch further south between the A5 and the A43.

Plans would include new primary and secondary schools, 20 hectares of employment space and a new bypass.

Leader of South Northamptonshire Council, Sandra Barnes (Con, Tove) said the application could come before South Northamptonshire Council's planning committee by Autumn 2008.

She said: "The bulk of it will be decided by the WNDC and all I've seen so far is what was in the consultation. But I went to the House of Lords two years ago and it was decreed that any development would be accompanied by a bypass.

"We have to make sure that the future development is properly thought through and integrated with the rest of Towcester, and it is most important that people have an input.

"The development would have quite a considerable impact on the council and there's going to be an element of affordable housing so there will be more bins to collect. But it's also about the social infrastructure and whether the churches can cope with extra people, and where they are going to have a pint of beer.

"This is putting a mark down for future generations and they're not going to thank us for just putting 3,000 houses down.

"It's got to have everything else and it's got to be an expansion of Towcester that we're all going to be proud of.

"We know people have high expectations."

Plans for the main site will be decided by the WNDC, while the application for the bypass will go to both the WNDC and South Northamptonshire Council.

Roy Parker, managing director of Persimmon Homes' special project team, said: "Sustainable growth at Towcester aims to bring wide-ranging community and economic benefits to the town including an end to HGV traffic through the town by its diversion on to the new bypass."

The plans are available online at www.futuretowcester.info, or call 08456 025026.