Plans for nearly 2,000 homes on Princess Marina site could create new gateway for Northampton

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PLANS to build almost 2,000 new houses on the outskirts of Northampton could be backed by officials in the south of the county next week.

Plans for a large-scale housing development around the site of the Princess Marina hospital near Duston have been on the cards for a number of years.

Members of South Northamptonshire Council will next week discuss the latest proposals, which include 1,790 new houses, a new primary school, a park and ride service with space for 1,000 cars, a country park and business space.

And in a report which will be seen by the council’s planning committee, council planning officer, Michael Warren, said the authority should back the scheme.

He said: “The applicant’s vision for the site is to create a lively, safe and sustainable community, also providing an attractive western gateway to Northampton.”

There would also be a “gateway feature” at the entrance to the development, which Mr Warren said would create a “strong sense of arrival for those entering Northampton from the north and west as well as a ‘sense of departure’ for those leaving the town”.

He also said the people behind the plans, Redrow Homes and the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency, had suggested the new houses could create a “positive and defensible boundary to the western edge of Northampton”, meaning it would not join up with nearby villages, such as Kislingbury or Harpole.

The planning official added however that “strong concerns” should be raised about the fact a secondary school would not be built on the site, meaning pressure would be put on other schools in the area.

Plans for the 207-acre site were approved by the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation back in November 2008.

They will be reconsidered by South Northamptonshire Council on Thursday, but a final decision on whether the scheme should be allowed to go ahead will be made by Northampton Borough Council. A date for the borough council to make the decision has not yet been set.