Police warning new estate may spread crime

editorial image
Share this article

Police have expressed worries about a crime spreading to quiet areas of Northampton from a proposed housing estate.

The controversial 154-home development off Towcester Road has raised huge numbers of objections from residents.

And Northamptonshire Police said it strongly objected to a planned path connecting the proposed homes to Leah Bank in Briar Hill.

Sharon Henley. the force’s crime prevention design adviser said in representations to Northampton Borough Council: “There’s a strong possibility that linking Lancaster Way, Leah Bank, the new development and surrounding roads together will allow easy access from Briar Hill and hence aid the commissioning of offences in otherwise fairly quiet areas.

“It is recommended that no thoroughfares are included in the new estate and the only vehicular and pedestrian access provided joins to Towcester Road. I would hope the layout is altered to remove the possibility of pedestrian linkage to Leah Bank.”

Mrs Henley noted that planners took out the path in 2008 on police advice but developer Bovis homes have put it back in their latest plans.

However Councillor Geraldine Davies (Lab, Delapre and Briar Hill) warned against stigmatising areas of her ward.

She said: “I have many concerns about the houses, such as the huge strain it will put on schools and GP surgeries.

“But I think you have to be careful when talking about crime worries. All areas of my ward have crime. There’s a danger you could give Briar Hill the reputation of a crime Mecca.”

A spokesman for Bovis Homes said: “The footpath connection was part of the application given full planning approval back in 2007, so it is clear the council find it acceptable. Indeed, the council planner remains keen there is easy pedestrian and cycle access to local shops and schools. We acknowledge the police have commented a number of times on the issue, but it’s important to recognise they’re one of a number of council consultees. It is the council planner who guides us to provide a well balanced development.”