‘Affordable’ new housing estate in Northampton will ‘destroy’ cul-de-sac in Kingsthorpe

Branksome Avenue, near Studland Road, Northampton. NNL-150218-152316009
Branksome Avenue, near Studland Road, Northampton. NNL-150218-152316009

Proposals for an ‘affordable’ housing estate in Kingsthorpe have outraged residents of a quiet cul-de-sac who say it is poorly planned and designed.

Orbit Homes’ plans for 51 houses at the site of the former Toolcentre Ltd factory off Studland Road were given approval at Tuesday night’s borough council planning committee - though some living nearby said it will make the area look like TV show ‘Coronation Street’.

Orbit Homes says the new houses will be ‘affordable’ and add to Northampton’s much needed five year housing supply – but residents of Branksome Avenue adjoining it, believe the new buildings will be out of keeping with the design of their properties.

Resident Tony Murphy said: “These homes are of such a low-grade design, they even appear to have Coronation Street style ‘ginnell’ (alleyway).”

An access road will be created to some of the new homes via Branksome Avenue, a quiet cul-de-sac built in 1938. Though its residents say this is unsuitable as the street is always lined either side with cars. Orbit Homes says it will install a ‘hammer-head’ at the end of the road to allow vehicles, such as bin lorries, to turn round.

But resident Paul Shaw, said: “It’s never had a turning head at the end and it’s never needed one.”

Mr Murphy added: “I challenge anyone to produce evidence of one single request for a turning point on that road in 50 years. People bought properties on this road was because it was a cul-de-sac.”

Speaking against the plan, Concillor Les Marriott (Lab, Semilong) questioned why the developers had not consulted with nearby residents prior to submitting the plan.

The application was approved after a majority vote, though some planning board members, including Councillor Matthew Lynch ( Con, Westone) said the design of the houses were ‘poor’.

In supporting the plan Councillor Lee Mason, (Lab, Brookside) said: “On balance this is a good use of a brown field site. But it is disappointing the site will represent a loss of potential employment land.”


Homes will ruin our community say residents of quite cul-de-sac

A housing estate built on the end of Branksome Avenue would also have an impact on the character of the street its residents say.

Resident Paul Shaw said: “It’s a quiet street where residents are not bothered by sustained noise and traffic, children can safely play on the streets in the knowledge they are not going to get mown down by some boy- racer.”

Mr Shaw said that the street has built up a ‘real community spirit over the years and residents even clubbed together to get two trees planted along there to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

He said: “If you build on this site the community is lost forever.”

However planning agent for the development, Ian Lapsley, said: “This proposal is to replace a large ugly industrial premises with an inclusive residential scheme, which is 100 per cent affordable and will provide much needed homes for young people and families.”