Hundreds turn out for homes meeting

A discussion on the future development of Irchester village attracted a massive turnout at the village hall.
A discussion on the future development of Irchester village attracted a massive turnout at the village hall.

Hundreds of people from Irchester packed into a meeting hall to hear plans for the potential development of the village.

Four possible new developments were outlined to a packed audience at Irchester Village Hall on Wednesday night.

At least 500 people attended the meeting called by Irchester Parish Council in response to the planned introduction of the Localism Bill in April, which will see changes to the current planning system and give people more power over what developments are built.

Parish council chairman Pam Armstrong chaired the meeting. She said: “This is an unprecedented meeting. As a parish council we have not talked to any developers without the public. We need to look forward for the future of this village.”

The purpose of the meeting was for residents to be made aware of the possible developments which could account for the 120 new homes which Wellingborough Council, the local planning authority, has stated must be built in the village.

Of the four proposals, only one was at the stage where a developer had designed plans to show at the meeting.

A presentation was made by Northampton company Barwoods relating to 80 acres of land between Irchester Country Park and High Street. They want to build 120 new homes on 12 acres of the land and four new football pitches on seven acres of the site.

The other three proposals outlined at the meeting were to develop land on an industrial site off High Street; land adjacent to 123 High Street, opposite allotments; and land at Austin Close.

Concerns were raised by residents about how the medical and education facilities would cope with the increased population the new houses would bring

Speaking after the meeting Ann Jeyes, of Irchester, said: “It was nice to see that so many people are interested in our village. I would like to know more about the choices before I decide which I prefer.”

People are now being asked to volunteer for a steering group which will assist the parish council in forming a parish plan and decide which development option they should back.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact parish clerk Nikki Daft on 01933 384180 or email nikkidaft@gmail.com.