Cabinet could dispose of popular grassy land in Northampton despite 21 objections

The green space in Lancaster Way is often used for ball games. But despite the objections, officers recommend the council sells the freehold.
The green space in Lancaster Way is often used for ball games. But despite the objections, officers recommend the council sells the freehold.

Planning officers have recommended the borough council hands over a controversial plot of green space to developers to build 139 homes - despite objections from the community.

At next week's full cabinet meeting councillors will vote on whether to dispose of the 1,270 square metre parcel of grassy land at Lancaster Way in Briar Hill, popular over the summer holidays with youngsters playing ball games.

Developers Xcite Projects want to use the land as an access road for a new housing development, but it has hit a string of objections.

A total of 21 objections have been lodged with the council over the disposal of the land since June.

Ward Councillor Julie Davenport (lab, Delapre and Briar Hill) told the Chron: "Go there after school and you'll find all the boys in that neighbourhood playing football. It's the only bit of green space Lancaster Way has left and it will be taken away.

"The residents in this area are firmly against these developments."

At the June 2017 meeting, cabinet approved “in principle” handing over the freehold interest in the land at Lancaster Way and asked members of the public to get in touch if they objected.

But a report set to go before cabinet on Wednesday, September 12, sets out planning officers "recommended" option.

"The cabinet could choose to consider the public objections to the proposed disposal of the land and authorise the disposal to Xcite Projects Ltd, subject to the grant of planning permission and agreeable terms," the report reads.

"Council would benefit from a capital receipt for the land and also enable a residential development site, which has obtained planning approval in principle."