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Javid allows appeal over Northampton urban extension

Published: Thursday, 18th August 2016

1,000 home Northampton South Sustainable Urban Extension is granted outline planning permission on appeal despite concerns over noise and the impact on heritage assets…

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has allowed on appeal outline proposals for a 1,000 home development known as the Northampton South Sustainable Urban Extension originally refused by Northampton Borough Council.

The scheme, from developer Bovis Homes, was earmarked for a 96-hectare site mainly comprising farm land which lies between the existing southern urban edge of Northampton and the M1 motorway.

Also involved was an appeal over full planning permission for 380 dwellings on part of the site on its eastern section bordering the residential suburb of Collingtree Park, Collingtree village and including part of a golf course. That was refused, in line with the advice of the inspector who held the recovered appeals and who recommended that the SUE should be given the go-ahead.

As well as the homes the SUE proposals included a site for a primary school, a mixed-use local centre, informal open space, the reconfiguration and extension of the golf course, green infrastructure (including a sustainable urban drainage system) and demolition of all existing buildings.

The site had been controversially allocated for development in the recently adopted West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy. The borough council withdrew a number of its objections to the SUE although it had reservation over noise and the impact on heritage assets.

Javid’s decision letter said the SUE represented part of the planned expansion of the town and was a key element in the provision of new housing to meet a “pressing need”.

The letter added: “Whilst acknowledging that some aspects of the illustrative layout are unacceptable, the SoS is satisfied that these can be addressed through conditions requiring the approval of reserved matters, resulting in the delivery of up to 1,000 new houses and representing a major planning benefit”.

In respect of the appeal over the detailed scheme (reduced to 378 houses, 15 per cent of which would have been affordable) the SoS concluded that the proposals would harm the historic environment and did not include sufficient noise mitigation measures.

View the Recovered appeal: land south of Rowtree Road and west of Windingbrook Lane, Northampton

Roger Milne