Huge village protest against homes bid

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More than 2,000 people signed a petition against plans for a housing development in what has been called the biggest village protest in years.

The Save Irchester Village campaign group is against plans to build 124 homes and a medical centre on land west of 123 High Street, Irchester.

Members presented a petition signed by 2,012 people to Wellingborough and Rushden MP Peter Bone, who will pass it on to the Secretary of State.

It will also be presented to Wellingborough Council, the local planning authority, later this month.

The campaign group is against the development proposal by Barwoods because it is outside the village boundaries.

Group chairman Chris Stening said: “This petition shows the overwhelming opposition to this and similar proposals which extend our village boundary.

“This is not a sustainable development, it has significant envionmental impact and our local infrastructure cannot cope.

“We don’t say that we don’t want new houses, but it has to be where the infrastructure and the environment are not impacted.”

Mr Bone said: “My role is to represent my constituents’ concerns about the overdevelopment of Irchester.

“At the last election all three political parties gave cast-iron guarantees that they would not support planning applications outside village boundaries.

“Nearly half of the village has signed this petition.

“It’s the biggest protest in a village of this size that I have had since I have been a Member of Parliament.

“Once I have presented this to Parliament, the Secretary of State will have to investigate and produce a response.”

Mr Bone told the campaigners that he hoped their petition would put pressure on the local authority to vote against the development.

He said: “It’s the wrong development in the wrong place.”