Reassurance for Raunds residents over business park extension plans

Geoff Dyne and Cllr Nick Beck at the demonstration in December
Geoff Dyne and Cllr Nick Beck at the demonstration in December

Residents have been reassured that plans for an extension to a business park in Raunds have yet to be considered.

Roxhill Developments wants to extend Warth Park with plans to develop two distribution buildings containing warehousing space with ancillary office, office and research and development space together with vehicular access.

People in Raunds turned out for the event in December to raise their concerns about the plans to extend Warth Park

People in Raunds turned out for the event in December to raise their concerns about the plans to extend Warth Park

Earthworks and landscaping are also part of the plans, including the creation of drainage features with green infrastructure and landscaping including along Meadow Land and land at the end of Scalley Way.

But while the plans have yet to be considered by East Northants Council, people were concerned when they saw a temporary closure notice had been approved for Meadow Lane.

One resident contacted the Northants Telegraph and said: “The latest issue of Nene Valley News published a notice of closure for Meadow Lane for six months from February 6 for building the underpass that is part of the as yet unheard planning application.

“We were horrified that Meadow Lane could be closed unnecessarily.

“On seeing this many residents of both Raunds and Stanwick, Raunds Town councillors and district councillors contacted Northamptonshire County Council’s highway officer for road closures.

“He was very helpful and told us all that the road should not be closed before planning permission was requested.

“However today on further looking at the issue we received notification that he has lifted the closure order until such time if and when the application is approved.”

A response from Northamptonshire County Council published on the Raunds Town Council website says: “I wrote to you yesterday in response to enquiries you had raised with us regarding the proposed temporary closure of the public bridleway known as Meadow Lane, Raunds, to allow the construction of an underpass below the bridleway.

“It has become apparent that the timing of the proposed closure has inadvertently raised concerns that the granting of planning consent for the associated development is somehow viewed as a foregone conclusion or is being inappropriately anticipated.

“In order to allay those concerns, we have now spoken with the developers regarding their plans and have taken the decision that the temporary prohibition of traffic order (TRO) which was to have come into effect on February 6 will not now be sealed by the council until and unless the development is granted planning consent, and having regard to the developer’s detailed plans for the underpass construction and its associated time-table if and when the development goes ahead.

“The TRO does not come into effect until it is sealed, so the effect of this decision is that we have put the TRO on hold until the issue of planning consent being granted or refused has been properly considered by East Northamptonshire District Council.

“Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention, and I hope that this decision reassures you regarding any concerns you have relating to the advertised closure.”

More than 100 people turned out at an event in December to show their opposition to the plans to extend Warth Park.