Campaigners get last chance to block new housing development near Northampton

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A public inquiry into plans that would treble the size of a Northamptonshire village and further congest the A45 will take place next week.

A planning inspector will visit Franklin’s Gardens from Tuesday onwards to rule on whether about 1000 houses can be built between Collingtree and East Hunsbury, in effect trebling the size of the former.

The plans are by Bovis Homes and have been turned down by councillors before.

But the developer has appealed and caused the inquiry to be held.

MPs and residents’ associations and parish councils have all objected on the basis of noise, pollution and increased flood risk.

Campaigner Rod Sellers said: “It is now left to local groups and individual politicians to make sure that the inspector takes full account of all the issues affecting the site and listens to real life experience as well as the arguments of paid lawyers.

“A drive along Rowtree Road at peak hours should convince anyone.”

The borough council has refused planning permission for reasons of strategic planning, impact on local highways, closeness to the M1 and impact on Collingtree Village. The original refusal also included concerns about increased air pollution, but this was withdrawn on legal advice after NBC Environmental Health Officers argued that recent measurements show that pollution levels around the M1 and A45 are now decreasing.

This leaves the sole reasons for refusal as Noise issues arising from the M1 and the potential impact on Collingtree Conservation Area. Local objectors including Hunsbury & Collingtree Residents Alliance (HCRA) Collingtree Park Residents Association (CPRA) Wootton Brook Action Group (WBAG) and the affected parish councils.

The inquiry is set to last 10 days and will run from December 1 to 4, followed by December 10 to 11 and finally from December 15 to 18.