More homes mean parishes face big changes

Residents living in Cranford could see major changes to their parish boundaries as a result of the 5,500 home East Kettering extension.
Residents living in Cranford could see major changes to their parish boundaries as a result of the 5,500 home East Kettering extension.

Residents living in Cranford could see major changes to their parish boundaries as a result of the 5,500-home East Kettering extension.

Kettering Council met on Tuesday to discuss a number of issues which the major plans will create, among them the impact on some villages near the edge of the town.

Councillors and residents were told that part of the East Kettering extension will fall inside the current Cranford Parish Council boundary and would more than double the population of the parish.

Council deputy chief executive Martin Hammond said residents living in Cranford would have a number of options about how to cope with the sudden influx – among them changing the parish boundaries to place all of the development outside the parish.

He added: “About three-quarters of the Persimmon development element of East Kettering falls into the Cranford parish while the remaining quarter falls into Barton Seagrave.

“The development will effectively render some of the parish boundaries meaningless.”

Mr Hammond said some decisions would have to be made about parish boundaries in the short term, but no long term decisions would have to be made for about five years.

Among the options for Cranford are switching the parish boundaries to keep the village entirely separate from any new development, absorbing the new population into the parish or absorbing the development into other neighbouring parishes.

Stephen Pickard, chairman of Cranford Parish Council, speaking at the meeting, said: “The initial discussions we have had indicate that people would like to keep Cranford as a separate village from the new development.”

Meeting chairman Cllr Russell Roberts urged Cranford Parish Council to put their intention to remain separate into writing.

He added: “The parish changes seem to be a whole piece of work in their own right.”