600 home Wellingborough development set for approval

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Plans for a new neighbourhood of 600 homes in Wellingborough are set to be approved next week.

Outline planning for the development on two fields between Park Farm and the Queensway estate is being put forward by developer Hallam Land Management and will be considered by Wellingborough councillors on December 5.

The development has been on the horizon for the past few years and will be made up of a mix of one to four-bedroom properties and include much-needed social housing for the town.

Developer contributions to the town would include money towards the expansion of All Saints Primary School and for a new secondary school at Stanton Cross.

The borough council’s regeneration team is also asking for funds towards more netball and tennis courts in the town and for a contribution to the new 3G pitch being built at Redwell Leisure Centre.

Proposed access to the new housing estate, which is close to the Sainsbury’s supermarket, will come from the A509 Park Farm Way and a new three-arm roundabout will be built along the southern boundary of the site 560 metres from the existing roundabout which links the A509 with Wilby village and Northampton Road.

However the area’s Joint Planning Unit, which has responsibility for agreeing planning policy with between local councils, has queried the access plans.

In a response to the application it says: “New development should create connected places by ensuring it connects to the maximum number of local streets, avoiding dead ends and connecting to existing services and facilities. The submitted plans show a single main access point from the A509 – this does not demonstrate good connections.

“The supermarket is considered to be an asset to the scheme but the links are convoluted and blocked by the proposed sustainable drainage systems. If we are encouraging sustainability it would make sense to link the development with the existing store and supermarket and this would need addressing.”

The county council has also asked that plans to remove more than half of the historic hedge on the site, which dates back to at least 1186, are revised with more hedgerow kept.

A bus stop will be provided on site but as yet there are no plans for the development to be part of the town’s existing transport route.

Stagecoach has said: “We are of the view that a dedicated local service to serve Park Farm Way would never come close to achieving the levels of usage needed to support its longer-term commercial viability and we see no clear way to evolve the network to combine existing and known potential wider demands to make it possible in an alternative manner. We still recommend the provision for an onsite bus stop and a planning committee means for the bus to ‘drop in and out’ as the commitments at Appleby Lodge, Park Farm West and at the north of Wellingborough SUE might conceivably allow for a service that would benefit from calling at the site in the long term.”

Council officers have recommended that the application is approved and if councillors grant outline planning permission the development will come back at a later date for the final details such as layout and appearance to be decided.