Controversial plans to build homes at Barton Seagrave approved

A controversial plan to build 450 homes at Barton Seagrave has been approved.

Kettering Council's planning committee last night granted developers Redrow Homes outline planning permission to build on land off Polwell Lane in Barton Seagrave, Close to Wicksteed Park.

More than 100 people opposed to the development attended last night's meeting.

The decision was met with jeers from residents, some who threw agenda documents towards councillors and continued to argue after the decision.

Speaking after the announcement Paul Lashmar, from the Barton Action Group, said: "We are disappointed that the committee members failed to take a very serious matter as seriously as they should have done.

"It was clear from reports, statements and the committee's own discussion that local infrastructure, facilities and amenities are already over saturated.

"The mitigation will not relieve the strain on local services.

"Barton Action Group hopes and expects all parties will abide by the law and ensure that everyone is involved in taking the project forward should the development prove feasible.

"Barton Action Group did call for a postponement on grounds that information we had asked for only arrived the day before the meeting."

During the meeting a number of concerns were raised including the impact the new homes would have on traffic, local schools, the environment and the potential of flooding.

The main entrance to the new development was also heavily criticised for posing a danger to pedestrians, particularly children walking to and from school nearby schools.

However, the committee said no objections had been raised by the Highways Authority or Highways Agency.

Development officer Louise Holland added: "It is considered the environmental benefit of this proposal out weighs the loss of open space".

Adrian Lee from Barton Seagrave Parish Council said: "This land should be preserved, not surrendered, it should be played on not built on."

Outline planning permission was granted subject to more than 40 conditions.

A previous application by Redrow to build 500 homes on the site was refused in 2008.

Mr Lashmar added: "The Barton Action Group maintains development is contrary to the principles of the Core Spatial Strategy which states that large urban extensions like these should be of mixed use development and not dormitory sites just of houses."

Councillor Keli Watts was one of two committee members to vote against the application.

She said: "I voted against this as I think it would cause a headache for the people of Barton Seagrave and I don't want to contribute to anything that causes aggravation to the residents."

Matthew Stock from Redrow Homes said the developers had taken into account the concerns raised by residents and the development would include a community centre, space for indoor sports, a mixture of different styles of homes and additional funding through a section 106 agreement.