Potterspury Parish Council believe that the West Northants Spatial Options Consultation is seriously flawed with respect to plans for development along the A5 from Towcester to the Old Stratford Roundabout. Here are some points to consider in your responses.
Spatial Option 5b – proposal for a 6,000-house development north of the Old Stratford roundabout.
It is misguided and poorly thought out for these reasons:
- As the Spatial Option paper says, the Old Stratford Roundabout is already ‘an existing strategic highway network pinch point’. The addition of 6,000 houses would render the existing roads utterly inadequate.
- The location surrounding a major national road interchange close to Milton Keynes and close to existing local centres and villages would ensure the proposed development was simply a dormitory settlement. It would not be sustainable, have no real focus and be unable to support a thriving local centre.
The proposal is for a development larger than Towcester. No infrastructure is in place to support this. Local schools and doctors’ surgeries are already over-subscribed. Small local back roads are poorly maintained and Potterspury struggles to cope with an increasing amount of ‘rat run’ traffic.
- The development would have a population around 150% bigger than Deanshanger, Old Stratford, Potterspury, Yardley Gobion & Cosgrove combined. It would dwarf the surrounding settlements and completely change the character of this rural area. As the Spatial Option paper says, ‘the proposed development is of disproportionate scale to the surrounding West Northamptonshire settlements.
- Milton Keynes
We are alarmed by the casual mention of ‘possible long-term aspirations for a mass rapid transport network, as part of a greater Milton Keynes’. As we and others have pointed out, WNC is not part of Milton Keynes and our residents have shown no desire to become the gateway and car park for north Milton Keynes.
- Oxford-Cambridge Arc
We are concerned that the proposals are being developed without due consideration for the government’s timetable and plans for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
Development on greenfield sites, the desecration of woodland and the removal of agricultural land are especially short-sighted at this time of climate emergency. The ruination of local landscapes and the removal of such valuable natural capital assets – which cannot just be mitigated by new planting – are deplorable. WNC has a stated aim of transition to a low carbon economy and this seems to conflict with this vision
Spatial Option 4b – Development of a 4,000-house development at Towcester South
No part of this proposal considers the knock-on effect of traffic along the A5. As WNC recognises, most commuter traffic heads south towards Milton Keynes, via the ‘pinch point’ of the Old Stratford Roundabout. Perhaps some of the investment proposed could be invested in improved local bus services, cycleways and footpaths? Sustainability and the environment appear to be a big issue since the increased traffic will impact on the Old Stratford Roundabout. Why has WNC proposed to allocate one third of its housing requirement along a 7-mile stretch of the A5?
There are better, more sustainable sites elsewhere. Northampton already has the transport infrastructure to absorb a growing population. Long Buckby has a railway station.
Email your concerns direct to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill in the online form here: westnorthantsplan.inconsult.uk/WNSPOptions/respondByQuestionnaire
You do NOT need to answer every question.
DEADLINE FOR RESPONSES: 24 DECEMBER 2021