Public inquiry over refused 1,000 homes plan south of Northampton set for next month

Plans for more than 1,000 homes just outside of Collingtree were refused by planning officers in January.
Plans for more than 1,000 homes just outside of Collingtree were refused by planning officers in January.

A 10-day planning inquiry is set to take place next month after a bid to build up to 1,000 homes on a swathe of land to the south of Northampton was refused.

The original plans by developers Bovis Homes Limited on a 240-acre site to the north west of the village were turned down by Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee in January.

On the same night Bovis also had a full application for 378 of those houses refused, which would have been accessed through Windingbrook Lane and Rowtree Road.

It would have also included a ‘mixed use local centre’ and a primary school, as well as a mixture of two to five-bedroom houses, 15 per cent of which would be affordable.

The planning committee threw the plans out because it said many of these homes would be too close to the M1 - causing a risk of noise and air pollution to the residents.

The developers have since appealed the decision and, as a result a planning inspector has been called in to make the final decision on whether the homes should be built via a public inquiry.

The 10 day planning inquiry is also set to commence at Franklin’s Gardens, Weedon Road, Northampton, on December 1, 2015, starting at 10am.

An Inspector instructed by the Secretary of State will listen to representations from Bovis Homes and Northampton Borough Council’s plans before deciding whether the bid should be granted.

Members of the public may attend the inquiry and at the Inspector’s discretion, express their views.

Among the documents submitted to the planning inspectorate, the Collingtree Park Residents Association (CPRA) highlighted a number of issues with Bovis’s 1,000 homes plan.

A statement reads: “There are cumulative issues with this site ranging from long standing flooding problems, air pollution form the M1, A45 and local roads as well as nose pollution, the issues with schooling and medical facilities (and) the necessity for some housing to have triple glazing to reduce the noise impact from he M1.”

In the last few days the council has also submitted a “statement of case” to the planning inspectorate, which outlines the reasons for its refusal.

It states: “The council will address the benefits of the proposed development in its evidence, and will show that these would be significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the adverse impacts of the proposed development in noise and heritage terms.”