No plans for access road for residents near Kettering warehouse site

The empty Cransley Park site.
The empty Cransley Park site.

The developers behind Kettering’s Cransley Park site are not planning to build an access road for residents of the nearby Furnace Cottages.

Last year St Francis Group had updated plans for five warehouses on the site off the A43 approved, subject to approval of reserved matters.

The developers have now submitted their reserved matters, which don’t include an access road for those who live in the cottages on the edge of the site, and a decision will not be made by a planning committee after it was delegated to one planning officer.

A resident of Furnace Cottages, who did not want to be named, says without the road accessing their homes will be difficult once the work on the site begins.

They said: “There will be more than 1,900 vehicle movements a day when the site is ready.

“We wanted an access road because we struggle to get on and off our drives safely as it is.

“It’s going to be near impossible with these lorries coming past.

“They [St Francis Group] have shown a disregard to our needs.”

Minutes from a meeting held by Kettering Council’s planning committee in 2016 say that officers would seek a rear access provision to form part of the Section 106 obligation - but the road does not form part of the plans.

The resident added: “The road around the back of the houses would cut through their land for future development.

“They no longer want to build it and they will want these houses gone at the end of the day.

“It’s £400,000 an acre so with the service road that would cost them.

“We saved for 18 years to buy this house and it’s an impossible situation.”

The resident also criticised the move to let the plans be decided by a planning officer rather than going to a full committee.

Last year county councillor Jim Hakewill criticised the development’s ‘shed’ approach to the aesthetics of the site.

Speaking last week, he said: “With Cransley Park being on the busy A43 and next to the A14 what we absolutely have to do is to make sure that the entrance is made as safe as humanly possible.

“I am very hopeful that St Francis Group will help the residents of Furnace Cottages by putting in an access road to and from the A43.

“It’s fair to say that St Francis Group are somewhat difficult to engage with which is frustrating because it’s going to be a huge development on a prime location at the entrance to Kettering.”

St Francis Group has not responded to the Northants Telegraph’s request for a comment.

A decision is expected by September 19 this year.

It is not yet known when work on the Cransley Park site, which has sat empty for some time, will begin.

Join the debate, have your say on this and other stories on our Facebook page.