Plans to place 2,200 homes on Northampton's border will impact on protected beauty spot and add to A45 traffic woes

A neighbouring council's proposals to approve land to the south of Northampton for 2,200 homes has ruffled the feathers of Guildhall chiefs - as the proposed sites is home to 20,000 water birds.

Monday, 6th March 2017, 5:42 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:08 am
Councillor Jonathan Nunn has objected to plans to earmark land to the south of Northampton as suitable for 2,200 homes.

South Northamptonshire Council has earmarked two sites on its northern border as potential housebuilding territory in its draft local plan.

The swathes of land being proposed to the east of Wootton and south-east Northampton for a collective 2,200 homes could bring new houses close to the Upper Nene Valley Gravel Pits area.

However the protected lagoons on the site, such as the Washlands, support a thriving bird population including the mute swan and the gadwall and the rare species are known to nest in the surrounding lands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Washlands, part of the Upper Nene Gravel Pits conservation area.

Northampton Borough Council leader Jonathan Nunn (Con, Nene Valley) has lodged a motion objecting to the two sites, which would also deposit thousands of cars on Northampton's doorstep.

Councillor Nunn's motion states: "This council strongly objects to any further development to the south and south-east of Northampton due to the impact it will have on local services, the lack of road infrastructure improvements and the impact on the A45 and local road network without adequate mitigation."

The dispute is the latest in a long-running battle between South Northants and the Northampton Borough Council over borders.

Kier Ventures Limited's plans for 100 homes off the Newport Pagnell Road and the 525 house Hampton Green development east of Wootton and Hardingstone all fall just within South Northants' borders.

The Washlands, part of the Upper Nene Gravel Pits conservation area.

It means the latter development, for instance, would deposit houses three-miles away from the centre of Northampton. A majority of the tax benefits, however, will be sent to a council based 10-miles away in Towcester.

Councillor Nunn's motion, set to be voted on at Monday night's full council meeting, is likely to win approval from both sides of the Guildhall chamber.

Leader of the opposition Labour group, Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) said: "The need for new houses should be spread fairly across our area and there is now a serious feeling that South Northants District Council are deliberately placing developments on our borders in to protect the villages.

"They are placing more and more developments, for example, along the Newport Pagnell Road with little thought about infrastructure needs.

The Washlands, part of the Upper Nene Gravel Pits conservation area.

"I’m afraid the lovely villages in South Northants must share the housing burden as well as Northampton and it is unfortunate councillors in South Northants think Northampton should take all the strain.”

In 2014 South Northamptonshire was classed as the seventh best place to live in the UK.

The authority has been contacted for comment.

The Washlands, part of the Upper Nene Gravel Pits conservation area.