The chairman of a parish council in Northampton said he is “very happy” with a borough council decision to refuse a “ludicrous” plan for 1,000 homes, which he said would cause traffic congestion, pollution and increased flooding risks.
At a Northampton Borough Council planning committee meeting on Wedneday, members voted almost unanimously to reject the plan for a large development of houses on a site next to Collingtree, with many councillors saying it “wouldn’t be fair” on nearby residents.
Speaking after the decision was made, Malcolm Brice, chairman of the Collingtree Village Parish Council, said there needed to be an investment in road and public services before any large housing developments were allowed to be built.
He said: “Plans for these sorts of developments are ludicrous because Northampton just doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope with them anymore. There just isn’t enough room for more people without improvements to roads and public services first.
“This rampant development needs to stop until these things are sorted out.”
The plans were part of a joint core strategy for several developments in Northamptonshire, which have been approved by other councils in the county. The application by Kent-based developers Bovis Homes had been recommended for approval before it was discussed by the planning committee.
In the application, Bovis included “mitigating measures” to combat the pollution, traffic and flooding issues that would arise. One of them would be to install ventilation systems in homes built nearest to the M1 so residents would not have to open their windows to the noise and pollution.
But Councillor Brice said: “It’s the presumption of developers that they can come from miles away and win over the wants and needs of the local people.
“But they cannot say that something like air pollution will be mitigated, when we are already over the legal limit for it in the area as it is. Just telling people not to open their windows or not to use their cars is not a solution to the problem.
“The full strategy was voted in by the other councils because they don’t want houses on their patches and are happy to put them around Northampton.
“I am very happy that the plan was rejected and I hope that the borough council will stick to the points they have made.
“They must listen to the Highways and Environment agencies who have suggested that no more planning should take place in this area until problems with roads and pollution are sorted out.”
Following a report on the meeting by the Chron & Echo posted on social media, people from Northampton showed their support for the council’s decision.
Joanne Tilson said: “This is great news! There is no way the roads here could cope with any more traffic. The A45 is already a nightmare and will only get worse with all the warehouse developments in this area.”
Mark Matthews added: “Excellent news! Glad to see common sense prevail over profits.”
However, some voiced concerns about the possibility of Bovis appealing the decision successfully.
During the meeting, the committee also re-confirmed their decision to refuse plans for a similar development of 1,300 homes near Hardingstone.
Adrian Bell, chairman of the Hardingstone Action Group, said: “The key issue was the traffic it would add to the same part of the A45 as the Collingtree site. Access to the road is gridlocked at rush hour. I know of businesses in Brackmills that have actually had to close because they cannot meet their delivery deadlines.”