Britain's oldest conservation group joins protest against turning Northampton neighborhood's only green patch into roundabout

Residents are protesting plans to turn this green space into a roundabout.
Residents are protesting plans to turn this green space into a roundabout.

A national charity has objected to a borough council plan to sell the last green space in a Northampton street to housing developers.

The Open Spaces Society has joined the fight to stop developers Xcite Projects from tearing up around 1,600 square feet of land in Lancaster Way, off Towcester Road.

Residents gathered in March when developers cleared nine acres of trees and shrubbery.

Residents gathered in March when developers cleared nine acres of trees and shrubbery.

The council has advertised to dispose of the land ahead of a plan by Barry Howard Homes to build 142 news houses on a nearby plot.

It comes after residents gathered in outrage to protest against Barry Howard Homes, who has ties to Xcite Projects, after the company cleared nine acres of trees and shrubs behind Lancaster Way in March.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: "We have argued that the council does not need to sacrifice this important open space in order to provide access to the new development. There is an alternative access available to the north from Leah Bank which should be used instead.

"The open space at Lancaster Way is readily accessible to the public and is much used and enjoyed, particularly by children. There have been proposals to install play equipment here, and it is evidently valued by the community.

"We trust the council will decide not to dispose of this vital piece of open space."

The land was first marked for disposal in 2007 and an agreement was made with Barry Howard Homes to purchase it.

After almost a decade, the buyer has now changed to Xcite Projects, who shared premises with Barry Howard Land Ltd in Crick in 2012.