Victory for protesters against 10-storey flats

RESIDENTS are celebrating after plans to build a 10-storey block of flats at the site of a former pub were refused.

Members of Wellingborough Council's regulatory committee rejected the recommendation from officers to allow the building of the flats on the site of the former Station Pub in Midland Road, Wellingborough.

The decision delighted people living in Midland Road, Senwick Road and surrounding areas.

The proposals to create a 10-storey residential building with 42 flats and only 21 parking spaces caused outrage because the area already has parking problems – especially with its close proximity to Wellingborough train station.

Protesters also said the building would have towered over existing properties.

Committee member Cllr Paul Bell described the building as a monstrosity and said it was out of keeping with the area, as well as being likely to cause problems with parking and traffic congestion.

Cllr Bell said: "It was definitely not in keeping with the town which is proud of its historical market town past and the building would have been more suited to the London docklands.

"I have heard it described as the gateway into the town but if they saw the building it would be more like a gateway to hell."

Seven members of the public spoke against the plans at Wednesday's meeting, as did ward councillor Paul Crofts. More protesters holding posters against the flats sat in the public gallery to hear how councillors would vote.

One of the speakers was David Stuttle, 56, of Senwick Road, who helped to organise a petition which gathered 643 signatures.

Mr Stuttle said: "This means so much to everyone who would have been affected by this building and the news it has been stopped brings great relief to us all.

"We have seen democracy at work here because our councillors have listened to us and to public opinion."

Mr Stuttle said he and other members of the Station Pub Site Objectors group felt vindicated by the council's decision and thanked the members for standing up against the plans.

Cllr Tony Sharp said: "The Government claims it is listening and wants to give power to local people. Well, the local people have spoken this evening."

He told the meeting that the flats would have been an unfair burden on residents because no one wanted to see the proposed development go ahead.