Cllr Julie Davenport, who represents the community on both the Borough Council and County Council, is due to attend the Borough Council Cabinet meeting tonight with residents to argue against selling the green space at Lancaster Way.
Cllr Davenport says,
“Residents are not opposed to new development, just the sale of their green space. The whole story of this particular development proposal is a sorry tale. With the questions of who actually owns the development land and the arrogant way the nine acres of trees and shrubs were cut down.
This green space is a vital community resource particularly for young families. I regularly see games of football being played on there. The residents know that the green space does not need to be sold, a T Junction could be installed instead and the green space kept for the children. This would mean that the development would need to go back to planning to make the necessary changes.
However, I have done my own research and I have been well informed that if this development went back to the Planning Committee the Highways Authority would object to it due to the impact it would have on an already highly congested Towcester Road.
There is another possible entrance to the development that the developers could use but, again, it will need to go back to Planning Committee to approve such a change. Having just the one access road will add to the very long queues on the roads in that area. Any recent traffic surveys and test results have not been shared with anyone. There has been no consultation with Councillors or residents before this Cabinet meeting.
The whole thing is just frustrating and the odds are always stacked in the developers favour. We keep being told that the Council must approve housing schemes because otherwise ‘the developers will appeal against the decision costing NBC time and money’. However, that didn’t stop the Barn Owl/ Mary Markham fiasco or the Tory controlled Planning Committee rejecting the Hardingstone SUE. We are told we can’t waste tax payers money on planning appeals but it is the tax payers themselves who tell me they actually want us to appeal.
There are examples of where the developer has no intention of building, just getting planning permission, selling it on to another developer and the new buyer can do what others have done, go back to planning stating that they didn’t make the agreement on building 35% affordable housing and an ‘independent’ firm will say it’s no longer viable. Planning will then allow the revision to s106 and allow them to build with NO affordable housing.
At the Cabinet meeting I will be there with my residents arguing the case against the selling of this green space - or ‘disposal’ as they choose to call it.”