A Government announcement that it will support work on a proposed “Garden Village” at Deenethorpe Airfield has been welcomed.
The new village, including up to 1,500 homes, community facilities, shops, business premises and generous green spaces, would occupy part of the 600-acre airfield site located between the villages of Deenethorpe and Benefield to the east of Corby.
The Deenethorpe Airfield project is one of 14 schemes across the country that will share £6m funding plus ongoing support from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency.
This is to help East Northants Council work with the landowner (the historic Deene Estate) in preparing a detailed masterplan and delivery strategy.
It will pay for extra staff capacity, specialist advice (such as design and viability), community engagement and various studies.
Leader of East Northamptonshire Council Cllr Steven North said in a statement issued on behalf of the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit: “This is an exciting project and it’s great that the Government is backing it as one of the first new Garden Villages in the country.
“We have supported the principle of a new village for a number of years and, with this Government funding, we can now work with the Deene Estate to ensure that the proposal is of the highest possible standard of design and sustainability and addresses concerns and opportunities identified by local communities.”
Development manager Aldred Drummond, speaking for the Deene Estate, said: “The estate has owned this land for over 500 years and is determined to use its landholdings and long-term stewardship to create a model for sustainable rural living, with exemplary standards of design and community facilities.
“The uniqueness of the site is its scale at more than 650 acres, with around a quarter to be built on, which gives unrivalled potential for a true garden village with masses of green space.
“We are working closely with the Joint Planning Unit and East Northants Council in refining our masterplan and this funding, and the national recognition that comes with it, is a major boost.”
The council has set up a Garden Village Project Board, including representatives of the district, county and parish councils to oversee the project.
Board chairman Cllr Roger Glithero said: “The board is already aware of some local concerns including the potential impact of traffic to and from the development and pressures on local infrastructure.
“We have held a workshop with key technical stakeholders such as environmental bodies, the highway authority and providers public services, to consider the emerging Garden Village proposal.
“We have asked the estate’s team to address the matters arising from this initial work and will be actively seeking local views when a draft masterplan is available for consultation.”
Consultation on a draft masterplan is scheduled to take place early this summer and could lead to a planning application later in the year.
In the meantime, the council is keeping the parish councils updated on progress and will provide information online.
Anyone wishing to register an interest in receiving information on the Garden Village proposals can do so by contacting the Joint Planning Unit by email or telephone 01832 742358.