The principal of Northampton College has welcomed the decision to approve plans to sell off some of its land in Daventry to pay for a new educational facility.
The plans for 130 new homes on part of the site in Badby Road West were given the go-ahead by Daventry District Council despite protest by nearby residents and Drayton Grange FC which says the development could jeopardise the future of its club.
Sport England and the Environment Agency also objected and, as a result, the plans will need to go to the National Planning Casework Unit for final approval, even though the council has approved it.
The college secured £6.5 million funding from South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership from Local Growth Fund for a new campus in the town that will offer vocational training for young people and adults.
The college has to match that funding from its own resources and the sale of the land for housing will secure that money.
Commenting on the decision of the planning committee, principal Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the planning committee on July 1 and the level of support from Daventry District councillors who
have backed our plans to improve educational provision in the town.
“As a college, our ambition is to be the first choice for training and education in Daventry and our plans demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the town and the local community.
“We will continue to work on detailed plans for our new building and we now look forward to receiving planning approval for the building itself in September.”
Subject to final approval, construction is due to start in September 2015 and it is planned that the new centre will open its doors in autumn 2016. The college will remain open during construction as the new campus will be built alongside existing facilities at Badby Road West.
The centre will provide places for 700 students, including 200 Apprenticeships, and will focus on developing the skills identified as central to the local economy. Work is now in progress to develop an exciting new curriculum for the
centre that will appeal to young people, adults and local businesses.
It is proposed that the new college campus will be self-contained and designed more efficiently using just 50% of the space of the existing facility. The College is committed to retaining green open space on the site and has included
two full size sports pitches and plans for landscaping and tree-planting at the perimeter.
Provision has been made for 90 car parking spaces including an area for coaches to pick up and set down as well as secure storage for cycles and motorcycles.