School fears that 60 proposed houses in Northampton would overlook ‘vulnerable children’

Northampton Academy has objected to plans by Northamptonshire County Council to build 60 houses on the site of the former Lings Upper School.
Northampton Academy has objected to plans by Northamptonshire County Council to build 60 houses on the site of the former Lings Upper School.

Objections have been raised over plans to build 60 houses on the site of a former upper school in Northampton over fears the homes would overlook ‘vulnerable’ children in a neighbouring playing field.

The plan by Northamptonshire County Council to build on land once used by the demolished Lings Upper School, is likely to be approved at next week’s borough council planning committee, providing 17 conditions are met.

I am extremely concerned that children as young as 11 will be observed at all times of the day from the proposed properties.

Northampton Academy spokesperson

A report on the scheme states that the proposals would be create a “high quality residential environment which respects the amenities of its surroundings.”

But the development off Birds Hill Walk, which would effectively back on to Weston Favell Shopping Centre, would also come close to the boundaries of Northampton Academy on Wellingborough Road.

In a letter to the planning committee from a Northampton Academy spokesperson, it states: “The proposed dwellings are extremely close to and overlook an outdoor classroom for vulnerable children.

“Our playing fields are used daily for PE lessons and a recreational space at break and lunchtime for up to 1,400 students.

“I am extremely concerned that children as young as 11 will be observed at all times of the day from the proposed properties.”

In another letter from the academy it objects to the proposals because Northampton’s adopted Local Plan state developers need to justify that any land previously used as a school is not needed for educational or recreational use ‘in the long term’.

Northampton Academy says that as “local primary schools are either at or approaching capacity,” that land should be kept for educational purposes.

And it also states that the proposed access to the homes from Birds Hill Walk could become a safety hazard as around 700 pupils use this road to access the academy.

However the developers say they plan to widen Birds Hill Walk to account for the extra traffic along there.

The plan is due to be decided by Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee at 6pm on Tuesday, March 25, at the Guildhall.