Revised housing scheme for former Northampton school site comes back before councillors

Councillors will consider the final layout of a new 132-home scheme on the former Parklands Middle School site.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 7:39 am
The borough council's planning committee meets next week

Back in January, Northampton Borough councillors approved outline planning permission despite strong objections from residents in the public gallery. The principle of building the homes has now been established, which cannot be undone. Next week’s planning committee meeting will simply determine whether councillors approve the appearance, layout, scale and landscaping of a revised plan.

The scheme has been submitted by Redrow Homes, which has taken on the site from Northamptonshire County Council, which applied for the original outline permission.

The main school buildings were demolished in 2011 following the vacation of the site by Northampton School for Girls in 2008, and presently only foundations remain, along with a small number of trees on the eastern part of the site.

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The former Parklands Middle School site has been empty for years

Council papers say: “The application has been amended since its submission to address design, crime prevention, residential amenity and highway concerns. The revised scheme proposes the same number of units, however the mix of units has changed with, for example, less four-bed properties and the three-storey flats have also been replaced by maisonettes such that the proposal does not include any three-storey buildings.

“In addition, other changes include a redistribution of the affordable units across the site, increased space to the boundaries of the site, additional street trees, and alterations to parking such as an increase in visitor parking bays, the breaking up of long runs of parking bays and the introduction of side windows to properties to provide surveillance of parked vehicles.”

But Conservative ward councillor Mike Hallam has called in the application, as he did with the original outline scheme. The councillor is due to speak at the meeting next Tuesday (October 22) and say that the proposal is ‘substantially different’ to what was included in the county council’s consultation held with local residents. He is due to argue that the removal of bungalows means that the scheme is not in keeping with the surrounding area.

A further 21 objections have been submitted to the council over the revised plans, with many arguing that the development has a ‘bias’ towards four-bed houses instead of ‘much needed’ bungalows and sheltered housing.