Homes plan will reduce HGV traffic in Northamptonshire village

The business units will be demolished to make way for new homes
The business units will be demolished to make way for new homes

A Whittlebury business park will be demolished to make way for new homes after councillors approved planning permission.

The existing units at Home Park Business Park, in Church Way, will be bulldozed to be replaced by 14 new dwellings and a new bakery, after a second attempt at the scheme was passed through at South Northamptonshire Council on Thursday afternoon (May 16).

Councillors were told that the buildings would be the first ones motorists saw on their way into Whittlebury, and that they were in a ‘poor state of repair’.

A spokesman for the applicant, Pury Hill Ltd, said: “The buildings will only deteriorate further. A residential scheme will provide a new opportunity to enhance the site and the appearance of the surrounding area. It will also cease the need for commercial traffic to come into the village for this site.”

The meeting heard how the access point to the business park was a constant source of nuisance for road users, with HGVs having to reverse into the park on what was a blind bend.

A previous mixed use application had previously been rejected by the council’s planning committee back in September, but members relented on this occasion.

Councillor Martin Johns said: “It’s preferable to the previous one, it looks much more viable mainly because it’s not mixed use. It’s a prominent site and I hope the design will reflect that if we approve this.”

Whittlebury Parish Council had raised an objection to the application, saying that the access point was dangerous, there would be loss of employment, the pedestrian access was not suitable and the local school was over capacity.

But Councillor Steven Hollowell added: “The parish council have made a number of objections to this application, and I quite understand where they are coming from. But the previous reasons for objection have now been addressed, and we can’t come up with an eighth or ninth reason to reject it. We have to be consistent.”

The conditions of the approval included that half the 14 dwellings would be ‘affordable’, and that a new public footpath would be constructed along Church Way as requested by the parish council.

The application was for outline approval only, which establishes the principle of carrying out the works. A later reserved matters application will deal with the design, scale and layout of the new homes.