Controversial flats development near Corby train station approved

The development was approved last night
The development was approved last night

A controversial development of 150 flats aimed at singles, millenial professionals and downsizers has been approved, despite concerns raised by a number of public agencies.

The rental-only accommodation next to Corby railway station was given the go-ahead by members of Corby Council’s planning committee at Corby Cube last night (Tuesday).

The development, which will be made up of three large flat blocks, was described by the council’s planning officer as ‘exciting’ and ‘the first of its kind in the county.’

The blocks will stand at the gateway to Corby Old Village and have been criticised by a number of local residents who slammed the design and size of the buildings, their impact on Corby’s oldest area and the lack of affordable housing.

Cllr  Bob Eyles voted against the development along with Cllr Lawrence Ferguson and said he was concerned that the development would lead to anti-social behaviour.

He said: “I’m very disappointed about the lack of affordable housing contribution. I would also say to developers to not just look at renting to young people because there are people of all ages looking to rent.”

The development will include 60 one-bedroom flats and 90 two-bedroom flats at the development, however only 84 parking spaces will be provided. The council’s planning officer told the meeting that developments of this type were usually low in car ownership.

During a consultation Northamptonshire County Council had expressed a number of concerns about the development citing far too few car parking spaces and unworkable cycle racks.

The North Northants Joint Planning Delivery Unit had also voiced concerns before the meeting and said: “The scheme provides limited usable amenity space, which is very important for flats. The scheme is making poor use of the available land and what little amenity space there is, is poorly designed, disconnected from the dwellings and with limited function.”

The flats will all be privately rented with tenants being given a minimum three -year tenancy. The meeting also heard that each flat would come fitted with  a washing machine and tumble dryer to prevent tenants from hanging their clothes outside on the balconies.

Surrey-based developer Hercurl will pay £275,616  106 planning agreements, which will go towards education provisions, fire hydrants and library contributions.

Cllr Colleen Cassidy, who voted to approve the proposal, raised questions about fire safety.

The application was approved with a lengthy 18 conditions attached. These include a travel plan, a contaminated land report and a foul water strategy.

Corby Council paid for a consultant to do a viability assessment for the site. The authority has a target of houses to build each year as part of government imposed targets.

If it slips below these figures penalties, can be incurred.