Northampton neighbours will park cars in protest to show how new homes could clog up their street
A demonstration is set to be held in a Northampton street where a series of garages are could be demolished to pave way for new council homes.
Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) wants to knock down 27 lock-ups in Maidencastle, Blackthorn, so six new houses can be built on the street.
The moves are one of a series of application from NPH, which manages the borough council's housing stock and intends to build 1,000 new homes in Northampton over the next 10 years.
But some residents in Maidencastle fear the latest plans will clog the area up with parked cars as the garage demolitions will also result in 11 off-street parking spaces being lost.
Self-employed Tammy Mizon, who lives on the street, will invite her neighbours to take part in a demonstration on Saturday, asking them to park vehicles in the way they would have to once the homes are built.
She is hoping the protest will show how clogged the street could be and send a message to Northampton Borough Council's planning board that the scheme 'won't work'.
"It's a health and safety issue," she said. "We are not going to be able to get a fire engine or an ambulance down here.
"No one is against the principle of building new houses - but it's the way they are doing it. They are not taking into account the consequences."
Mrs Mizon, who runs a consultancy businesses from her home and would see one of the houses built seven metres from her front door, says several of her neighbours drive trade vans and, should the parking situation worsen, would not be able to keep them near to their houses.
NPH, on the other hand, says there is a desperate need for council houses in the area - while many of the lock-up garages around the east of Northampton are currently sitting empty.
The last three family homes in Blackthorn to come available on the council house waiting list attracted 242 bids.
Helen Town, assistant director of asset management and development for NPH said: “We’re disappointed to hear that this group of residents are not in favour of NPH’s proposals to build new homes in Blackthorn.
"We are responding to the housing issues identified in the local neighbourhood plan, which includes the provision of new housing. This neighbourhood plan was created by an independent, not-for-profit organisation who talked and listened to the local community as part of the process.
"We understand that any new build development causes inconvenience and disruption for those living nearby, but we cannot ignore the fact that we have 3,261 Northampton households on our housing register in need of a home. The last three family homes that became available in Blackthorn attracted bids from a total of 242 households, which demonstrates a clear need for homes in the area.
"When residents raise concerns with us, we do listen. We have on similar sites, designated parking spaces for residents with mobility issues for example. That said, we are doing everything we can to identify suitable locations to increase the supply of social housing in Northampton, which is a major local priority."
Mrs Mizon, 45, is set to hold the protest in Maidencastle between 10am and noon on Saturday, April 6.