Planning update – Sanders Lane

The Gladman application for 195 houses on land off Sanders Lane was dismissed very quickly by the Development Control Committee at SNC, who were unanimous in their condemnation of what they regarded as an opportunistic development scheme.

Potterspury can heave a sigh of relief (for now).

Steve Parkin, Chairman of Potterspury PC was interviewed on Radio Northampton this morning and spoke about the threat posed by large developers to small communities like ours.

bbcThe clip is at 2.25.09.

Planning applications

poundfield The appeal for 65 houses on Poundfield Road (APP/Z2830/A/14/2224285) was heard this week at the District Council offices in Towcester. Arguments revolved around whether or not SNC can demonstrate that they have a robust five-year land supply, but local knowledge was also important. Representatives from the parish council unveiled ‘new evidence’ in the form of the revised bus timetable, which sent legal counsel into a temporary spin.

The inspector’s judgement is expected in about a month.

News of the Gladman planning application for 195 houses off Sanders Lane has been in the local news. The Buckingham Advertiser carried the story, as did the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

An extraordinary meeting

fullchurchThis press release appeared in the Buckingham Advertiser on 13 January.

The ancient village church of St Nicholas in Potterspury was full to overflowing on Thursday 8 January as more than 220 residents attended an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting.

Villagers are worried by Gladman Developments’ application to build 195 new houses on fields on the edge of the village.

The site is in open countryside and the plans would increase the size of Potterspury by 46%, adding some 500 new inhabitants.

Residents questioned whether the village infrastructure could cope. They voiced concerns about increasing levels of traffic on narrow village roads, the problem of accessing the A5 during peak commuter hours and the safety of local children. They also discussed drainage and the delicate matter of whether the ageing village sewers could cope with the strain of 195 new homes. John Hellins Primary, the popular local school, would also struggle to absorb a significant increase in pupil numbers.2 Perhaps the most troubling aspect is that the access to the new housing is sited across a flood plain and the area of the development has flooded several times in the last two decades, most recently in 2013.

Aside from the very real practical problems thrown up by this proposal, Potterspury Parish Council has recently approved a Parish Plan after a lengthy period of consultation with village residents. The plan states that development should be restricted to small developments of fewer than 15 houses.

The people of Potterspury are determined to resist this planning application but there is a very real feeling that the village, like dozens of others around the country are pawns in the competition between developers and local authority housing quotas.  A residents’ group has been formed to fight the application and over 50 letters of objection have already been lodged with South Northamptonshire Council.

One parish councillor said, ‘We are not ‘nimbys’. We have already absorbed significant development and helped provide affordable homes for local people. We know that over time we must accept some more, but this is the wrong scheme, in the wrong place, at the wrong time’.