Northampton ‘not invited’ to discuss planning sweeteners for 270-home development south of town

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Planning chiefs at Northampton Borough Council will not get a say as to where planning sweeteners from a 270-home development on its borders will be spent - though councillors argue the town will get all the traffic.

The new St George Fields development was given planning permission on land just outside at Wootton Fields by South Northamptonshire Council in 2015.

Homes are now being marketed for sale.

But a question posed to Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Tim Hadland, at Monday night’s full council meeting, asked how much section 106 money Northampton would receive developers Morris Homes for improvements to the local area.

But Councillor Hadland had to concede the borough was “not invited” to the discussions by its neighbouring authority, even though the Wootton Fields homes will have an NN4 postcode and will be considered as being in Northampton.

He said: “At the time when the borough was consulted on the fringe planning application, we requested that South Northants Council involved the borough when negotiating any section 106 agreement.

“Planning permission was granted by South Northants following finalisation of a section 106 agreement, but the borough was not invited to get involved in the negotiation of the monies.”

The section 106 agreement does ask Morris Homes to generally contribute money towards schools, health care, sports pitches and “on-site” play equipment in the nearby area as part of the deal, but the borough will not get a say as to exactly where the funds go.

Councillor Arthur McCutcheon (Lab, Headlands) said: “They (South Northants Council) will divide some money up to us, but I am sure it will not measure up to the requirements of the people that live there.”

Councillor Hadland said the council is now working with neighbouring authorities to discuss how it deals with “fringe” planning applications like this, as he town expands.

Last week it was announced Gladman Developments’ plan to build 110 homes near Boughton in the north of the town will be decided by planning officers at Daventry District Council, due to the way the authority borders are drawn.