Bid for 230 homes on site of former Northampton middle school is refused

Plans for 230 homes at Kingsthorpe's former middle school were refused over traffic and access fears.
Plans for 230 homes at Kingsthorpe's former middle school were refused over traffic and access fears.

A bid to build 230 houses on the site of a former Northampton middle school was refused after concerns the development would add to the traffic gridlock in Kingsthorpe.

Nearby residents had raised several concerns about the plans by Northamptonshire County Council to build the homes on the site of the Kingsthorpe Middle School, which closed in 2007.

Of 27 letters of objection received by Northampton Borough Council, many suggested the surrounding road network would not be able to cope with the addition of what some residents believed would be between 400 and 500 extra traffic movements a day.

The council’s planning committee members refused the plans on those grounds after majority vote.

Councillor Jamie Lane (Con, Boothville), said: “I just don’t think the infrastructure is there to support 230 houses.

“Kingsthorpe is in gridlock.

“It’s quicker to walk into town now because of the traffic. I’m definitely against this.”

The county council’s highways authority had raised no objections to the plans, stating that the developers would be able to contribute money to mitigate the impact on the surrounding road system.

Speaking on behalf of the county council, agent Thomas Bode said the site would provide a boost to Northampton’s supply of future housing, adding that 80 of the homes would be affordable.

He said the middle school, when it was open, was a high car ‘trip generator’ and the road system would be able to cope with the new homes.

But a statement read out on behalf of the Former Kingsthorpe Middle School Residents Association, also raised issues with the proposed access to the homes provided through Penfold Close and Northfield Way.

It read: “There is a Sure Start centre for young mums and babies, a number of whom approach with pushchairs and cross Penfold Close and Northfield Way to get there. What is being done to help them?”