Controversial Irthlingborough housing development application unanimously refused

Plans for the development on agricultural land off Nicholas Way were thrown out

Friday, 13th March 2020, 2:30 pm

There was applause from the public gallery as outline planning permission for a housing development in Irthlingborough was unanimously refused by East Northants Council.

The application by Fermyn Woods Estate to build the 105-home estate on land off Nicholas Road had been objected to by residents on the grounds of site access, traffic congestion and flooding issues.

Nichola Joynes, who had been campaigning against the development and lives close to the site in Tannery Cottages, had collected a 2,600-signature petition against the proposal and spoke at the meeting against the application.

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The land off Nicholas Road which developers hoped to build 105 homes on

She said: "When they voted against it I said 'thank you' and there was a little bit of clapping from the gallery. Nothing positive was said about the development.

"I was very impressed with Lee Wilkes, the Irthlingborough councillor, who spoke against the application. Many of the councillors knew that the modelling used in the application was wrong because they'd seen the area with their own eyes.

"Even if they reduce the number of houses on the site the builders would still have to use the narrow roads.

"It's not suitable, not in the right place and the roads can't handle it."

The land has been used for grazing cattle

Irthlingborough Town Council had also unanimously objected to the development and Ms Joynes had worked closely with committee members Caroline Cross and co-opted member Alan Mayes on a strategy to fight the plans.

Ms Cross said: "I was quietly confident we could do it. I personally through there were many more reasons to object - including it being on the flood plain. They would have had to put in so much mitigation and inflicted a one-way system on existing residents would have been disruptive and just not fair."

The planning application had been deferred last year when planning committee members asked for the plans to be reviewed by an independent flooding expert as well as seeking assurances that the developer would pay for a one-way system for the roads leading to the site.

When committee members were told that the one-way system and the smart traffic lights, that would have had to been installed to ease traffic, would only cost £20,000 to £30,000 Ms Joynes said that 'everyone laughed out loud'.

The flood risk for the area

Committee members had asked for additional expert opinion from a hydrologist to ensure measures taken by the developer were enough to plan for potential flooding with houses on parts of the site having to be built at a minimum 30cm above the Environment Agency's predicted flood levels.

Ms Joynes added: "They've still got the land and who know what they might do? I'm sure they won't give up."

For the full application click here.

The plans were thrown out last night