LISTEN: Spring Boroughs rap marks the start of Northampton neighbourhood plan referendum

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Residents of Northampton’s most deprived estate will vote on whether to adopt a new neighbourhood plan promising more play areas and affordable homes in a fortnight’s time.

People living in Spring Boroughs are being encouraged to take part in the referendum on Thursday March 10, by casting their ballot at the Castle Community Hub.

Clive Ireson is leading a scheme to see Spring Boroughs given a new neighbourhood plan.

Clive Ireson is leading a scheme to see Spring Boroughs given a new neighbourhood plan.

The neighbourhood plan, nearly three years in the making, will form a blueprint for all planning applications submitted in the Spring Boroughs area, but only if a majority of residents vote “yes” in a fortnight’s time.

The 40-page document aims to make the estate a better place to live by making sure new homes built there are of good quality design and affordable; by encouraging developers to contribute to new community and play facilities, by creating better routes for pedestrians and cyclists and by enhancing open spaces there.

Chairman of Springs Voice, the group set up to draw up the plan in 2013, Clive Ireson, has encouraged people to vote in favour of it.

He said: “If people vote yes the borough council will have to take note of the neighbourhood plan when any planning application is submitted.

“We hope that over 15 years we will be able to regenerate the area to make it more and more attractive to the people that live here.”

Springs Voice will officially launch its referendum campaign on Thursday (February 25) at the Castle Community Hub and to encourage people to vote the group enlisted Spring Boroughs resident Kosi Agudosy to record a rap song.

The track, called “Great - Better” features lyrics written by young people on the estate and was recorded in the studio beneath the Springs Family Centre on Tower Street.

Mr Ireson said: “We must be the only neighbourhood plan to gave a rap, but it comes with a serious message.

“The message is that people deserve more and its about getting the estate improving, because people want to live here. It’s about saying everybody, we need to work together to improve this area.”

The Spring Boroughs neighbourhood plan is available to view on Northampton Borough Council’s website http://bit.ly/21lk927.