Village amasses 1,200 objections against housing plan

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More than 1,200 separate objections have been raised against a housing plan that could effectively wipe out Harpole’s village status.

Although people can still influence their councillors and MPs until March 18, the opportunity to make objections directly to the planning Inspectorate against the Joint Core Strategy plan closed this week.

More than 300 villagers in Harpole submitted 1,250 objections to the plan, which they said made the village “part of the urban sprawl”.

David Ballard, a Harpole parish councillor, said: “The land between South View and Sandy Lane was going to be a country park, but amendments to the plan will see it become a cornerstone for urban sprawl.

“It threatens our status as a rural community forever.”

A protest held last weeked was attended by Harpole Parish Council, Kislingbury Parish Council and Harpole Action Team, as well as village residents.

They are worried at the prospect of 4,000 new homes that will overwhelm the village.

Among their other concerns are that an additional industrial park at Junction 16 of the M1 will overshadow Harpole from the west.

Campaigners’ analysis suggests there will be an extra 5,000 vehicle s a day going through either the M1 to Milton Keynes or St James, both of which are air quality management areas.

Mr Ballard said: “We aren’t saying we don’t want any development. More houses are needed, but the planners have not even considered the infrastructure needed.

“This side of town will grind to a halt.

“What happens in Harpole will be echoed around the town.

“If you live in Northampton, this plan will affect you, absolutely no question.”

Many campaigners said this week that highways needed to be built to the west of Northampton to ‘complete’ what would effectively be a ring road around the town.

Alan Hames, of the Nene Flood Prevention Alliance, said: “Until we go back to the road design in the original masterplan, we will have havoc in the north and west of Northampton. We need to ensure that, if this all happens, the ring road gets built. Without that, we’ve had it.”