Home builder claims 1,000-house estate in Northamptonshire would produce only seven morning commuters

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A developer has predicted that an estate on the edge of Northampton numbering 1,000 houses would produce only seven commuters each morning.

The claim was highlighted by residents on the second-to-last day of a public inquiry into proposals for land near the M1 and Collingtree.

Plans for Northampton South SUE, showing the homes closest to the M1

Plans for Northampton South SUE, showing the homes closest to the M1

Christopher Leads, speaking for Wootton Brook Action Group, one of four residents’ associations objecting to the plans said: “It’s ridiculous. We put it to Bovis [the developer] and they insist they stand by it, because of people these days not having routine office hours.

“I don’t find it believable at all.”

Campaigners yesterday used Bovis’s own traffic predictions (based on exisiting estates around the country in similar locations and of similar size) to show the effect on Northampton.

Figures produced by Bovis themselves show the A45 would see an increase in traffic of up to 13 percent if the estate goes ahead.

And residents also pointed out that Bovis’s figures for Rowtree Road near the Wooldale / Rowtree roundabout would be 800 vehicles above the official capacity in the morning rush hour.

Anthony Crean QC, for Bovis, responded that some sort of scheme must go ahead on the land, and so “highways impact would broadly be the same”. Therefore, they said, it was not grounds for appealing this particular plan.

The planning inquiry was called after Bovis’s plans were rejected by councillors this year and the developer appealed.

The inquiry will conclude today (Friday) with a decision to allow the plan or reject it to be revealed by the independent inspector, Colin Ball, next year.