Dr John Smith: Development must not make lives a misery

The junction of Deeble Road and Warkton Lane in Kettering. Development should enhance our lives, says Dr John

The junction of Deeble Road and Warkton Lane in Kettering. Development should enhance our lives, says Dr John

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Forgive me if you do not live in Kettering but what I am going to say applies to any town or village in our county.

When we first came to Kettering the Ise Park Bridge Farm estate was still being built.

It was, I think, at a time Europe’s largest private housing estate.

Over the years it grew and I knew it well as a family doctor.

For many it was their dream – gardens, space and relative quiet. As the time passed the estate grew busier and leaving it via Deeble Road, the main exit and entrance road, grew busier too.

A consequence of rising living standards. More recently the road has become a rat run, cutting off a long part of Kettering but still liveable with.

But now 5,000 homes are to be built and Deeble Road will have become a major access to them.

A once quiet road, slowly becoming busier, will become a nightmare for the people who live there.

Their quality of life will be removed with a single stroke of a planner’s pen.

I am not arguing against the need for extra housing.

But it should not be at the expense of other people’s quality of life.

New access roads need to be built away from the built-up areas.

Yes, they will cross farmland, but they will not invade the homes of thousands of people, our people.

But it is more than that. Have you ever tried to park in Kettering recently?

Add 5,000 more cars. Have you tried to park at Kettering General Hospital recently, or worse still join the queue at A & E?

Add between 10 and 20,000 people to that. Park and ride is not for local people, new medical centres still need hospitals.

Our quality of life is being eroded. Planning solutions are a compromise.

New homes should add to the quality of our lives, not reduce it and if it does then, sorry, they should not be built.

PS You will notice that I have not written about the crisis over hospital funding. That I will leave for another time.