Council prepares to hand over last green space in Northampton neighbourhood to developers

The last speck of green land in a Northampton neighbourhood could be given away to developers next week despite homeowner's protests.

Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 12:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 2:24 pm
Developers Xcite Projects Ltd want to use this green space to make a roundabout for yet-to-happen housing development.

The slither of land in Lancaster Way, off Towcester Road, could be ripped up to make way for a roundabout ahead of a plan to build 139 new houses in the area.

Residents have fought against the borough council's plan to dispose of the 1,270 square-feet of land to Xcite Projects after the developers cleared nine acres of trees and shrubs in a fenced off allotment in a single morning in March.

Cabinet papers released ahead of a full meeting to discuss the disposal on December 6 show how local have written to disagree with the build.

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The area in red, which covers around 1,270 square metres, could be disposed of to make way for a roundabout.

It reads: "There does not seem to be accountability or engagement with the community.

"Alternative and better access is available already at Leah Bank on the Sandringham Gardens development... A roundabout is not the best solution for the junction.

"[Xcite Projects] has failed to attain an interest in all the land needed for the current planning permission, despite trying for 10 years."

In a consultation, the council received 21 objections to the plan, many citing the land was the only area children had left to play on in the neighbourhood.

The area in red, which covers around 1,270 square metres, could be disposed of to make way for a roundabout.

One objection from the community reads: "The green space is the only reasonable sized space on the estate for young people to meet, play, enjoy... the land is of immense value to the community."

Planning officers have recommended Northampton Borough Council dispose of the land at a full cabinet meeting on December 6.

Ward councillor for the area Julie Davenport said: "There is a way they keep the green space if the developers put in a T-junction instead. But they are intent on selling this green space used daily by the children."

Xcite say they intend to build a new green space as part of their development. Planning permission for the 139 houses is yet to be issued.