Plan for 36 homes on former Northampton garage refused because of design

Site of former Honda dealership off Grafton Road NNL-140731-092008001
Site of former Honda dealership off Grafton Road NNL-140731-092008001

A plan for 36 new homes in Northampton has been rejected due to crucial design problems.

The proposed plan by developers, Westleigh Developments Ltd, for the land at a former Honda car dealership between Compton Street and Grafton Street, on the edge of Spring Boroughs, was turned down by Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee on the grounds that it would increase the problem of overcrowded housing in the area.

Councillors were divided on the decision which would see 12 three bed houses, 12 two bed houses and 12 two bed flats built on the land, with those in support arguing for the need for more housing in the town.

But councillors against the plan responded that the most pressing need was for spacious family housing in an area where families often use their living rooms as extra bedrooms.

Clive Ireson, chairman of the neighbourhood planning group in Spring Boroughs, said: “The priority is family housing with garden space so that children have a safe and secure area to play.”

Councillor Iftikhar Choudary (Con, Abington) said that the Leicester-based developers were not sufficiently in touch with the reality of the Spring Boroughs community and stated that the land there is already overdeveloped.

Planning committee deputy chair, councillor Matthew Lynch (Con, Westone) added: “Not enough consultation has been carried out for this plan and it has all been left until the last minute.”

Andy Ward, representing Westleigh Developments Ltd, said that changes to the plan’s design are already underway and that they would be submitting an amended application in the near future.