Fact 2,000 homes plan next to Duston will be decided by councils 10 miles away needs to change

A former council leader has issued further calls for a re-drawing of Northampton's boundaries after news a 2,000 home plan yards away from Duston would be decided by councillors in Daventry and Towcester.

Saturday, 14th May 2016, 6:29 am
Coumncillor Phil Larratt, a long time supporter of plans to expand Northampton's boundaries, says the fact new homes next to Duston would be decided by planners in Daventry and Towcester needs to change.

Bloor Homes has issued a scoping planning application to build the houses and up to two schools on farmland a stone’s throw away from Duston.

But due to the way council boundaries were drawn in the 1970s, the plan will be decided by Daventry District Council and South Northants Council.

Northampton would only be a “consultee” even though some would argue it would bear the brunt of all the inconvenience caused during the home construction.

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All the new residents in the new village-sized development would pay council tax to either Daventry or South Northants, and both those authorities would receive a financial boost from the government’s New Homes Bonus.

Former borough leader Councillor Phil Larratt, (Con, East Hunsbury) said plans to turn councils into unitary authorities in Northamptonshire must see the borders re-drawn to stop this happening again.

He said: “We have to develop but the borders around Northampton are very tight.

“That creates a democratic deficit, because the plans are not determined by representatives of the people it affects - but by another area altogether.

“I would welcome the view that if we are moving to a unitary authority - we (Northampton) should have bigger boundaries.”

A motion to expand the borough’s boundaries by “one parish” fell in September after it was defeated by the Conservative group. Many thought the plan was just not possible.

Councillor Larratt has urged Daventry and South Northants to give “proper weight” to Northampton Borough Council’s consultation response on the new 2,000 homes.

“They may well agree with us,” he said. “But what worries me is that ultimately they have the final say.”

He suggested any planning sweetener money negotiated by the councils and Bloor homes could be used to fund the long awaited north west bypass for Northampton.

A Daventry District Council spokesman said: “Neighbouring authorities including Northampton would be notified about the planning application and they would also be consultees in the process.

“Section 106 funding relating to housing developments must be spent to mitigate the impact of that development.”