New homes approved in Kingsthorpe despite traffic concerns from councillor and residents

A new 14-home housing block will be built in Kingsthorpe despite traffic concerns being raised by the ward councillor and residents.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:53 pm
The new homes will be built on land next to the Whitehills pub
The new homes will be built on land next to the Whitehills pub

Members of Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee approved three separate schemes for neighbouring plots of land just off Harborough Road North, sandwiched between the Whitehills pub and the Buckton Fields site that is currently under construction.

The panel approved the applications unanimously despite objections from the Whitehills and Spring Park Residents’ Association (WASPRA), and Councillor Mohammed Aziz, that it would add to road congestion and pollution on an already busy road. Boughton Parish Council also objected on similar grounds.

But the developers, Formhouse Limited, said that the designs complemented the existing area.

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A number of residents attended the planning meeting on Tuesday (July 2) at The Guildhall, where councillors discussed the three plots of land, one with four homes on, and the other two with five homes each. The plots lie next to each other.

Sean Brady, on behalf of WASPRA, said: “This application is further evidence of developers steamrolling through plans for non-existent residents, while existing residents are ignored.

“This road is already one of Northampton’s most polluted. 14 further houses will only contribute to this. The access points will also be a danger.

“This is not a NIMBY protest, but we won’t accept applications on unsuitable sites next to gridlocked roads.”

Their concerns were shared by Councillor Aziz, who ‘called in’ the application but was not at the meeting to present his objections.

But David Corley, of the applicants, said that the proposals had won support from some of the residents who lived opposite the site. The borough council had received three letters from neighbouring properties who praised the ‘high quality’ designs, and that the site may be less crowded than an extension of Buckton Fields potentially would.

Mr Corley said: “This is designed to complement the existing houses opposite and create a gateway into the area. The scheme pays respect to the current density and provides a buffer to the new estate [Buckton Fields] behind it.”

Committee member Councillor Mary Markham said she drove down the road every day, and that it would be a ‘welcome development’.

Councillor Samuel Kilby-Shaw, the council’s climate champion, meanwhile praised the green credentials of the homes, with electric charging points and low emission designs.

Despite the traffic concerns presented by residents, committee chairman Councillor Brian Oldham said that as the county council’s highways team had raised no complaints, it would make it difficult to refuse the application on traffic grounds.

All councillors on the committee unanimously voted through all three applications.