Councillors met this week to determine a series of planning applications in the south of the county.
South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee convened at The Forum in Towcester on Thursday afternoon (April 11), and discussed three items. Here’s a rundown of their decisions.
Proposal: Demolition of existing storage shed and erection of a new steel framed storage shed at Reuse and Recycling Centre, Farthinghoe.
Applicant: South Northamptonshire Council
The application was seeking consent to demolish an existing storage barn at the Farthinghoe Reuse and Recycling Centre, and construct a smaller replacement building serving the same purpose.
The centre is owned and operated by South Northamptonshire Council, which is why the decision had to come to the planning committee.
The existing building has a floor area of 287sqm whereas the proposed building has a floor area of 240sqm and therefore represents a slight reduction in floor space.
Vice-chairman of the committee, Councillor Ken Pritchard, commented that it was ‘unusual’ that the replacement building was smaller than the current one.
Councillor Julie Herring questioned why the council was moving forward with this application, to which planning officer William Anstey answered: “The existing building is leaking and is in poor condition, and some of the building contains asbestos.”
Officers considered the proposed building represented an ‘enhancement to the appearance of the site compared to the existing situation’ and therefore didn’t consider it harmful to the character and appearance of the area.
Proposal: WNDC Outline Planning Application - Outline application for residential development up to 82 units including public open space and associated works [reallocation of section 106 funds]
Councillors agreed to fund a new electric flashing ‘slow down’ sign on a Towcester road that has a ‘serious’ speeding problem.
The £2,600 scheme on Northampton Road will use funds from an 82-home development that was built at Belle Baulk.
The money is available to use as plans to build a number of bus shelters on Watling Street using the funds from the developers, known as section 106 money, had fallen through.
The council papers said: “Whilst it was unfortunate that the installation of bus shelters was not possible, the alternative project currently identified is considered to be an acceptable alternative and in due course other projects will be reported to planning committee to ensure that the funding is spent to meet or mitigate any need or impact arising from the development.”
Members of the committee hit out at their own authority for the ‘small’ amount of money - just £300,000 - that it agreed with developers that would be pumped back into the neighbouring villages as ‘mitigation’ for the Northampton Gateway development.
Roxhill's Northampton Gateway proposal would see a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) comprising large warehouses built on land east of the West Coast Main Line and next to junction 15 of the M1, between Milton Malsor and Collingtree.
The £300,000 fund, to be spent locally and administered by the council, is intended to be spent within the parishes of Blisworth, Milton Malsor and Roade.
But Councillor Karen Cooper, whose ward includes Milton Malsor, asked whether officers had just accepted the sum or whether they challenged it.
She said: “When I saw the sum I was absolutely astonished. That £300,000 has to cover three villages, and that’s a joke. Myself and my ward partner were not consulted on this, I just saw that it had already been signed. You are here to fight for us, and I feel really let down for my residents.”