Bozeat housing campaigners win first fight

Residents who are against plans to build homes next to Hillside Close in Bozeat.
Residents who are against plans to build homes next to Hillside Close in Bozeat.
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Campaigners have given a cautious welcome to councillors’ decision not to grant permission for a controversial plan to build 36 homes in their village.

Councillors on Wellingborough Council’s planning committee voted eight to one against allowing the development in Bozeat, despite the council’s planning department recommending it be approved.

The application was lodged by Manor Farm Developments, which wanted to build 36 homes on land off Hillside Close, and was turned down on Wednesday, January 23.

The result followed a long campaign by residents with the backing of Wellingborough MP Peter Bone, who presented a petition against the application in the House of Commons in November.

The application was deferred at an earlier planning meeting in December to give councillors more time to read the additional late letters.

Graeme Sutherland, the chairman of St Mary’s Little Hillside Residents Association, welcomed last week’s decision.

He said: “I’m certain the developers will go to appeal. We have won the first battle but the war is still on.

“I’m pleased the councillors have taken note of what we’ve said and several shared our concerns about concreting over our village.

“It’s very pleasing they voted against the application.”

Bozeat Parish Council also objected to the plan for a variety of reasons, including the parking provision, which it branded “woefully inadequate”.

Parish councillors also said: “It is very clear to us that the Transport Statement fails miserably to reflect local conditions.”

The council received 26 letters objecting to the plans and one in support.

A spokesman for Manor Farm Developments said the company was unwilling to comment until it was in receipt of the refusal notice.

Obstacles

Wellingborough Council’s planning committee refused the application because of concerns the development would generate more traffic, causing noise and pollution and “general road traffic nuisance”.

They thought there was not enough information to prove it would not “exacerbate existing flooding problems on the site and in the vicinity” and it did not satisfy the criteria for excepted development outside village confines.