Huge warehouses will destroy '˜green buffer' with Northamptonshire village, say residents

A massive dual warehouse plan on the edge of Northampton will erode the last bit of green land between a village and an industrial estate, its residents fear.

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 6:00 am
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French sports retailer Decathlon is looking to double the size of its distribution depot at Brackmills Industrial Estate by moving into two specially built warehouses that would total around 37,000 square metres off Lilliput Road.

To do so, the developers Roxhill Developments Limited would need to knock down a farmhouse building on land between the industrial estate and the village of Great Houghton, as well as Little Norway - the last remaining residential property at Brackmills.

With a decision on the planning application expected in a week’s time, Great Houghton Parish Council and 13 residents of the small village nearby have lodged objections to the scheme.

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Atterbury Way resident John Sullivan, said: “The land in question has always been regarded as a buffer between Brackmills Industrial Estate and the village of Great Houghton and should remain so.

“There should be no development on this site let alone the huge warehouses proposed.”

Objections have also been received from Historic England and the borough council’s own conservation department.

The proposed site sits on an area of medieval ridge and furrow, and would also encroach on the Great Houghton Conservation Area, intended to protect the village from over development.

Historic England said: “The loss of the agricultural landscape to the west of the village and the clear physical separation of the settlement from the town of Northampton along with the destruction of the non-designated archaeological remains would, in our opinion, result in harm to the character and significance of the conservation area.”

However Ovalis planning, speaking on behalf of Roxhill Developments, says Historic England has “overstated” the harm the buildings would cause.

They claim significant “bunding” will mitigate the impact of the scheme.

Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee will decide whether to pass the plans at the Guildhall at 6pm pn Tuesday, July 26.

Planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval.

Decathlon employs 100 people in the town, and says it has “significant growth plans,” having outgrown its existing site.