People power helps see separate plans for more than 200 houses in Irchester refused

Plans for more than 200 houses in Irchester have been refused

Plans for more than 200 houses in Irchester have been refused

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Planning applications for more than 200 houses on two sites in a village have been refused by councillors.

People from Irchester filled the chamber at Wellingborough Council last night (Wednesday) to hear the planning committee discuss applications for a 150-home development and a separate scheme proposing 59 houses.

I have had nobody approach me to say they want this development

Cllr Jon-Paul Carr

The first plan for consideration was an outline application by Acreage Strategic Limited for a development of up to 150 dwellings with the option of a retail unit on land north of Station Road in the village.

Seven objectors spoke at the meeting, including Pam Armstrong as chairman of the parish council.

One of the speakers was David Mole, who said Station Road was already an accident blackspot without allowing more houses which would result in an increase in traffic in the area.

He said there had been countless times where people had crashed and gone to wait in his house until the emergency services arrived.

One of the three ward councillors for Irchester, Cllr Jon-Paul Carr, was also among the speakers and he said: “I have had nobody approach me to say they want this development.”

Another objector who spoke at the meeting said: “Please let Irchester always be known as the village which the Romans founded, not the village the developers ruined.”

The planning officer’s recommendation was to refuse the scheme and the committee agreed unanimously.

The second plan for consideration was an outline application by Barwood Strategic Land for up to 59 houses on land west of 123 High Street in Irchester.

Eight objectors addressed the committee on the plans for this site, which has been the subject of two failed applications before.

The speakers raised many of the same issues as with the previous application, including increased traffic, loss of open countryside, loss of heritage and the sewage system not being able to cope with extra housing.

One also said she was fed up with developers refusing to give up with applications for the site and said she had written to the Prime Minister with regard to the repeat applications.

Cllr Jon-Paul Carr spoke again and said, as with the previous plan, it would be beneficial to wait until the Neighbourhood Plan had been agreed for Irchester which allows local people to have a say on which developments they would like to see built and where.

During a discussion of the plan by committee members, Cllr Andrew Scarborough said: “I will vote on this application on its merits, which are none.”

And Cllr Tim Maguire said: “Throw it out.”

The planning officer’s recommendation was to refuse this development and the committee agreed before voting to refuse it.

Both decisions were met with applause from residents who opposed the two schemes.