Jill Hope

Northamptonshire County Councillor for Sixfields - a Lib Dem campaigner working all year round, not just at election time Learn more

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Hunsbury Hill Development

by Jill Hope on 13 January, 2014

You will probably already know about the proposed Bloor Homes development of 71 houses on the land to the south of your estate.

I attended their exhibition at The Hunsbury Hill Centre on 28 November. I met quite a few residents there, many of whom were angry about the proposals.

The problems raised with me by residents were broadly:

  1. The construction traffic will have to access the site via Hunsbury Hill Avenue and Harcourt Way. These are narrow congested roads not suitable for HGVs
  2. Traffic leaving the estate in the morning rush hour is already gridlocked, with ..real problems accessing the roundabout on Danes Camp Way, especially since the filter lane was introduced from Upton Way
  3. In winter the hill out of the estate is lethal and virtually never gritted. There isn’t even a grit bin at the top. Adding up to another 100+ cars to this difficult situation is unacceptable
  4. When people bought their homes on the existing estate, they were advised that the lower site wasn’t going to be developed because of flood risks, and they now feel they were misled.

The development will probably be brought to the Borough Council for planning permission on 17 December or 14 January. The Committee starts at 6pm. If you want to speak at Planning Committee you have to register in advance, but ONLY TWO residents will be able to speak for a maximum of 3 minutes each, so if a lot of people object you will need to work together and get a good spokesperson to represent you. The detailed rules are on this website under the PLANNING tab. (Click here.)

The difficulty for Planning Committee is that they can only refuse a planning application on planning grounds. The fact that you don’t like it and don’t want it are not planning grounds. If the Planning Committee refuses permission and the developer refers it to the next level up, if planning is then granted, the council may have to pay some pretty high legal fees, so the Planning Committee doesn’t refuse permission lightly. The officers will almost certainly advise that permission should be granted.

The traffic issues, which are all too real for residents of Hunsbury Hill, are probably not serious enough to justify refusing the application, though if we can persuade the developer to pay for improvements to the Blackwood Hodge roundabout that would be a benefit to everyone.

Bloor Homes have had options on this site for many years. It couldn’t be developed before because of flooding issues around Northampton. Now that the flood alleviation scheme has been implemented the possibility of flooding is said to be much less.

I will monitor the planning list and put the details of when this is being discussed on there as soon as I know.

I intend to speak at the committee as one of the local councillors and my colleague, Borough Councillor Brendan Glynane, intends to do the same. Councillors can speak in addition to local residents.

We will reflect the views of local residents, so please tell me what you think by phone, email or text.

Jill’s letter to residents about this development – pdf format
Bloor Homes comments form – pdf format

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