Housing scheme on former school site approved despite residents arguing it's 'out of keeping' with the area

The site has been empty for a number of years but will now see 132 new homes built
The site has been empty for a number of years but will now see 132 new homes built

A 132-home estate that residents say looks ‘out of place’ with the local surroundings has been given the go-ahead by councillors.

Back in January, Northampton Borough councillors approved outline planning permission for the scheme on the former Parklands Middle School site, despite strong objections from residents in the public gallery.

And on Tuesday evening (October 22) the planning committee approved a revised layout and appearance for the scheme.

But neighbours and ward councillor Mike Hallam spoke out against the plans, saying there was a lack of bungalows in the scheme and it would look out of kilter with the majority of homes nearby.

Councillor Hallam told the planning committee: “People are so passionate about this site even 15 years after the school exited, because we all want to see the best use for it.

“I welcome the removal of some flats for this revised scheme and the addition of some maisonettes, but I don’t think it goes far enough in terms of keeping with the surroundings.

“Nearly every property nearby is a bungalow or dormer, and when the county council was doing the site there were bungalows included that are no longer there. I don’t think you can argue that it’s in keeping with the local area when it has no bungalows in it.”

There will be 32 three-bedroom homes and 54 four-bedroom homes on the open market, while 35 per cent of the estate will be ‘affordable housing’ made up of 12 one-bedroom maisonettes, 19 two-bedroom homes and 15 three-bedroom homes.

Also speaking out at the meeting at The Guildhall was resident Michel Kerrou, a retired town planner who lives in the area.

He told councillors: “It’s a clear over-development of the site, the mix of properties is too ambitious.”

All but one of the councillors approved the scheme, with Conservative councillor Jamie Lane voting against the application.