Plans for a major expansion to the west of Irthlingborough including 700 new houses has been approved despite opposition from residents.
Even with 126 letters of objection and hundreds of names on a petition against it, the proposed mixed use development located above abandoned Ironstone mines and including up to 700 homes, commercial development for business, industrial and storage use and land for the expansion of Huxlow Science College was approved at an extraordinary meeting tonight (Monday).
The plans had been recommended for approval by East Northants Council’s planning officers and while some members of the development control committee tried to find planning grounds on which they could refuse them, they were advised that it was unlikely they would be successful if it went to appeal.
When put to the vote, it was eight to six in favour of approving the planning application with one abstention.
The decision didn’t go down well with the large numbers of people who had turned out to see if the plans were given the go-ahead.
A number of people had spoken ahead of the decision being made, raising their concerns about building over former ironstone mines, water and drainage issues, the number of school places in the town and the need for additional health provision with the town’s population increasing by 25 per cent.
The remediation work needed for the mines, contamination from the fill material used and dust were also highlighted as issues by both members of the public and councillors.
Traffic was another area of concern, with questions raised over whether the A6 and Chown’s Mill roundabout could cope with the vehicles from an extra 700 households.
But the meeting was told money from the Section 106 agreement will go towards highways improvements.
After more than two-and-a-half hours, the planning application was approved subject to numerous conditions and a Section 106 agreement for developer contributions.