Councillors met this week to determine a series of planning applications in Northampton.
The borough council’s planning committee convened at The Guildhall on Tuesday (July 2), and approved the majority of the applications they heard. Here’s a rundown of their decisions.
APPROVED: Construction of 14 detached dwellings, garages and new vehicular access at Plot 1 of development land on Harborough Road North.
A new 14-home housing block will be built in Kingsthorpe despite traffic concerns being raised by the ward councillor and residents.
Councillors 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.
It was approved 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.
APPROVED: Variation of conditions for permitted scheme at 71-77b Abington Street
In July last year, planning permission was granted for the refurbishment and extension of 71-77b Abington Street. It would see 48 flats added to the commercial block, which includes chains such as KFC as part of it, and will be refurbished with a couple of extra storeys and more blocks built behind the shop frontage.
But this application sought to vary some aspects of the approved scheme. This included a change of the main access to the flats from the front of Abington Street to the rear of the building via the existing car park. One unit will also now be retained for retail, while the rear of another unit will be lost to create an entrance to the accommodation.
APPROVED: Extension to existing educational building and perimeter fencing at Rectory Farm Farmhouse, Olden Road.
The extension is to facilitate the use of the site for the expansion of Billing Brook School, and includes a new 2.4m high fence.
Toby Birch, of the Rectory Farm residents’ association, spoke to support the scheme. He said the area has looked a little ‘derelict’ recently and thinks the proposals will improve things.
Councillor Andrew Kilbride added: “I know this area well, and I welcome this application. It will enhance the area and it’s a good application.”
APPROVED: Change of use from House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from five occupants to six occupants at 109 Lea Road.
Permission was being sought to change a recently approved HMO application from five occupants up to six, at 109 Lea Road.
Pat Dooley, of agents Architectural Solutions, told the committee that work has already been carried out to a ‘very high standard’ to convert it into a HMO for five people. But he says a communal lounge is barely being used, and now the applicants want to convert it into another room.
Despite an objection from Highways as there was ‘no residual parking capacity in the area’, the application was voted through by six votes to three.
REFUSED: Creation of new parking area outside of property – including dropped kerb, removal of part of grassed area and repositioning of footpath – at 18 Eastfield Road, Duston.
Although there were no objections to this scheme, officers recommended the scheme for refusal. Nicky Scaife, development management team leader, says they wanted to stop an ‘incremental erosion of the green space which is key to the character of the area’.
NORTHAMPTON PARTNERSHIP HOMES APPLICATIONS
DEFERRED: Demolition of seven domestic lock up garages and erection of two new dwellings at Thyme Court, Lumbertubs.
In the latest batch of garage demolitions, a number of residents appeared in the public gallery to speak out against the application.
Resident Brenda Ross said her primary concern was the loss of parking space. Fellow resident Jo Quiggin added: “All the residents’ refuse and recycling is left on a grass verge. This scheme would see this move out of Thyme Court. This will create problems for residents with mobility problems.”
But Gary Owens, of NPH, said: “These houses will be provided for affordable rent for those on the housing register, and we have over 200 applicants waiting for homes in these areas.”
Cllr Samuel Kilby-Shaw said: “I’m not happy with the parking situation, and I think I’m siding with residents on this. I think it will cause more problems than it solves.”
Councillor Jamie Lane suggested that the scheme be withdrawn so that NPH officers could liaise with residents and come up with some more parking spaces for residents.
The council’s solicitor was consulted as to whether it was legal to defer the scheme, and members were told that they first must vote on the officer’s recommendation to approve the scheme. Planning chairman Cllr Oldham proposed to accept the scheme, but couldn’t find a second councillor to back him up.
A proposal from Cllr Lane to defer the application was then approved by the committee. Discussions will now take place about the parking, and this will come back before the planning committee – potentially altered – at a later date.
APPROVED: Demolition of 38 domestic garages and erection of give new build terrace units at Stockley Street.
APPROVED: Single storey rear extension at 23 Campion Court.
The final two applications of the evening were quickly approved by councillors.