Bulldozers could soon move in on Northampton cul-de-sac after two years of negotiations

Shaun Oakey and Richard Crow in Toms Close, Collingtree, back in 2015. The men said they were being forced out of their homes so the council could develop the site.
Shaun Oakey and Richard Crow in Toms Close, Collingtree, back in 2015. The men said they were being forced out of their homes so the council could develop the site.

Plans have been submitted to bulldoze a largely vacant cul-de-sac near Northampton and replace it with 22 new social homes.

The long-awaited proposals for Toms Close in Collingtree have finally been submitted to Northampton Borough Council by the authority's social housing management company, Northampton Partnership Homes.

Toms Close.

Toms Close.

The street is still home to 17 pre-fabricated Airey properties built in the 1940s following the end of the Second World War.

But over the past years residents of the close have gradually moved out as the properties have fallen into disrepair.

In 2015 the borough council launched plans to demolish the entire close, but it sparked a row between the authority and those who owned their Airey properties on the cul-de-sac.

Former master builder Richard Crow, who had lived in number 10 for 50 years when the scheme was announced, said the £122,000 the council were offering to compulsorily purchase his home would not have been enough to buy a new house.

Toms Close.

Toms Close.

Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) has now lodged multi-million plans to knock down the empty Airey homes and replace them with 21 modern new properties. It is understood those who wish to stay, including Mr Crow, will be allowed to.

All of the new houses, of varying sizes, will be available for social rent.

A spokeswoman for NPH said: "We have applied to Northampton Borough Council for planning permission to build 21 new homes at Toms Close. There is a huge demand for affordable housing in Northampton and if approved, this development will provide good quality homes in a great location for 21 families in housing need.

"We have appointed contractors to carry out the first phase of the redevelopment, which will allow existing residents to remain in Toms Close. Pending planning approval, we will then be in the exciting position of being able to use this land to provide much needed affordable housing in Northampton."

Airey Houses were designated defective under the 1985 Housing Act where it was found the presence of chlorides in the concrete were resulting in the corrosion of the steel reinforcements and cracking of the concrete.

A section from the design and access statement of NPH's plans, states: "The development proposals will improve Toms Close both visually and physically providing improved highways and services."