Developers hit back in Corby flats planning row

An artist's impression of the site. NNL-181004-140032005
An artist's impression of the site. NNL-181004-140032005

The developers behind a controversial major flats plan for Corby say the scheme will give the area a new lease of life.

In February we reported how the plan for 150 flats on a derelict site in Station Road, which could be the first thing visitors by train see when they get to the town, had attracted numerous objections.

The current derelict site. NNL-181004-140022005

The current derelict site. NNL-181004-140022005

Residents and authorities said there was not enough parking provision, crime had not been fully considered and that fire hoses would not be able to reach the top of the building.

But Hector Newton and Curlew Communities (Hecurl), the companies behind the development, say it will give additional choice for residents who rent in Corby.

Athar Rashid, managing director of Hector Newton, said: “The proposals will deliver a modern, flagship scheme for this gateway to Corby, providing much-needed new homes for local people at affordable rents.

“Schemes like this are very common now in London, Birmingham and Manchester and are making a big contribution to meeting housing need.

An aerial view of the block plan. NNL-181004-140012005

An aerial view of the block plan. NNL-181004-140012005

“Our research tells us that this scheme will be popular and provide benefits in Corby, too.

“The site is currently derelict and contributing nothing to the town.

“Its location in a prominent site by the station is currently a ‘blot on the landscape’ which gives a very bad impression to visitors to Corby.

“The new homes will give this important entrance to Corby a new lease of life and create a real sense of arrival on leaving the station.”

The rented homes development would house 60 one-bed flats and 90 two-bed flats.

Hecurl say the provision of 81 car parking spaces is higher than the Corby car ownership rate of 0.4 per household.

Northants County Council says parking is ‘woefully’ under-provisioned and that there should be 514 spaces instead.

The developers also say the site will be gated and covered by CCTV cameras which will be monitored by on-site staff, provide an on-site hub space for residents to engage socially, comply with all the relevant fire regulations and will include sprinklers in the common parts to deal quickly with any issues.

They also say the new development will be more than 20m from the nearest properties and the stepped-back design will ensure that it does not overlook or reduce the privacy of neighbours.

Mr Rashid added: “This private rent development is a long-term investment for Hecurl and will be something new for Corby.

“The new homes will give residents in Corby on average incomes the opportunity to rent a modern home, professionally managed at an affordable rent.

“If we get the go-ahead from the planning committee next month we would be on site in six months and residents could move in to their new homes 18 months later.”

Objecting to the proposals, one local resident said: “We already have people parking inconsiderately on grass verges outside people’s houses, restricting views for people trying to get off their drives because they don’t want to pay parking charges.

“With the station now expanding to two lines there is going to be more traffic using this already busy road and more people leaving their cars on the street.”

Another resident said: “The proposed 150 flats are totally out of keeping with the style, design and type of residences in the area.

“These appear to look more like commercial units than residential homes.

“The area has no flats and has mature two or three-bedroomed housing, dating from the 1890s and 1940s.

“The height of the proposed flats will be an invasion of privacy to the homes along Station Road as they will directly face into their living room and bedroom windows.”

What do you think of the plans? Let us know at nt.newdesk@northantsnews.co.uk.