Fears over plans for more than 100 houses near Desborough

David Coe from the Desborough Community Development Trust at the former Hawthorns Leisure Centre

David Coe from the Desborough Community Development Trust at the former Hawthorns Leisure Centre

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Concerns have been raised over plans for housing on land to the south of Desborough.

Draft plans have been drawn up to build more than 100 houses in the Ise Valley on the site of the old leisure centre.

Kettering Council is to hold a public exhibition and consultation from 11am to 3.30pm tomorrow (Saturday, October 17) at St Giles commuity centre in Lower Street.

Desborough Community Development Trust secretary Paula Holmes feels that views of residents in the town are being ignored.

She said: “In 2012 Kettering Council was considering designating the area as a ‘visually important open space’ but not long afterwards saw the possibility of putting more than 100 houses on the site.

“They have also been working with the Central England Co-operative Society to unlock their land next to it so even more houses could be built.

“The trust has been fighting for more than four years, first to save the leisure centre and run it as a social enterprise, then to protect the skate park.

“We continued looking at options and working with Locality [a nationwide network of settlements, developments trusts, social action centres and community enterprises] and others to see if a different approach could be taken when suddenly last week it was announced there will be a public event at very short notice.

“This has been poorly advertised and only 150 people closest to the site have received leaflets about it.

“This is sad and depressing for this town, which has seen a lot of housebuilding over the past five to 10 years, but is ready to accept more and doesn’t want to lose this special place.

“It would seem the council isn’t ready to embrace the ideals of localism at the moment and is ignoring the wishes of the residents of Desborough again.”

A Kettering Council spokesman said: “The community consultation event taking place on Saturday, October 17, is designed to give local people the opportunity to comment on the proposals currently being developed for the land south of Desborough.

“There is no legal requirement to undertake such an event, it is being held simply because Kettering Council believe it is right to consult with the local community in order to help shape the proposals that come forward.

“This event is being held well in advance of any planning application being submitted and when that happens, there will be a further round of public consultation as a part of the planning process.”

 

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