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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Bloor Homes – residents are delighted! – Update on the Hunsbury Hill development protest

by Jill Hope on 11 May, 2014

RESIDENTS FROM HUNSBURY HILL  were thrilled on the evening of 6 May when councillors on the borough council’s planning committee voted unanimously to REFUSE planning permission for the extra 69 houses that Bloor Homes wanted to add to the bottom of their estate.

There were many reasons, but the primary one was the access for traffic. Construction lorries would have to access the site via the narrow, twisting road called Harcourt Way which frequently has cars parked on both sides of the road. Bloor Homes said that the construction work would take about 18 months. Councillors felt that this was unacceptable – imagine if two lorries met in the middle, it would be impossible for them to pass each other. It was also felt that adding as many as 100 cars to the long queue of cars already struggling to leave the estate in the morning peak was a problem. There is also the inevitable mud on the road for 18 months as well – do you know a clean building site?!

Finally, the idea of people in the new houses being able to access local services on foot was shown to be an illusion. It is impossible to cross Danes Camp Way at the roundabout without pedestrian lights, which had not been proposed. Access via footpaths would involve pedestrians walking down to the underpass, going in exactly the wrong direction. They would then have to climb a steep hill up to local services. In any case the underpass does not offer a safe access for anyone who might feel vulnerable – women and elderly people.

It was a wise decision. Local residents who spoke really well at the meeting were pleased to see local democracy in action. Let’s hope that this decision is not overturned by a higher power.

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