Controversial housing plan back on the cards

editorial image

Controversial plans to build a large housing estate on the edge of Northampton have resurfaced more than two years after they were given planning permission by councillors.

In October 2011, members of Daventry District Council’s planning committee approved plans for a development of more than 1,000 new houses at Buckton Fields, near Whitehills, in Northampton.

They made the decision despite major opposition from residents, who claimed the nearby A508 would become gridlocked when the development was completed.

Now, after more than two years of silence on the scheme, house builders Bloor Homes have revealed more detailed plans for the first 376 houses on the development site.

And while a date for the start of the work has not yet been set, it is understood that Bloor hope the first new houses will be completed by March next year.

Documents submitted to Daventry District Council by the firm in the past few weeks suggested the vision for the development was to create: “An attractive place to live that reflects the existing area’s character.”

The documents showed the first 376 houses would include a total of 152 four bedroom homes, 135 three bedroom properties and 72 two bedroom houses.

There would also be 13 five bedroom houses on the development site and four one bedroom homes. The plans for the development also showed where a new primary school would be built, as well as a football pitch and where four areas of green space would be spread among the new houses.

The plans for the 376 houses would cover just the eastern side of the Buckton Fields site, close to Harborough Road.

It is expected that plans for the western edge of the site – where a further 674 new homes could be built – will come forward at a later date.

The detailed plans for the eastern section of the Buckton Fields site showed the new estate would have a main road running through it, which would have a speed limit of 30mph.

A number of ‘secondary streets’ spread across the development would have 20mph speed limits, while smaller ‘tertiary streets’ serving only a small number of properties would have speed limits of 15mph.

The developers also said that funding would be put in place to extend the current X7 and number 62 bus routes along Harborough Road to guarantee buses ran every 30 minutes.

Further money would also be provided to fund a bus service to Moulton Park.

The documents are due to be considered by Daventry District Council’s planning department over the coming months, but the authority has not said when a final decision on whether they should be accepted would be made.

Officials in Daventry have the final say on how the Buckton Fields site because, although it is on the edge of Northampton, the site is technically in Daventry District Council’s area.

When the council’s planning committee approved the initial plans back in 2011, they were strongly criticised by one councillor for the area, who said the development would be ‘to the detriment of people who live in the area for years to come’.

The plans were approved, however, by a majority vote of eight to three. The vote came three months after the same planning committee had blocked the scheme.