Housing plan for historic Weldon farm attracts objections

The developer had permission for 21 houses - but now wants to increase that to 26

By Kate Cronin
Friday, 15th January 2021, 7:00 am
Historic Glebe farm is set for development
Historic Glebe farm is set for development

A new housing plan for a farm in a village conservation area has attracted a string of objections from local people who say the scheme is unsuitable for the area.

The Tata-owned farmyard in historic Church Street, Weldon, was granted permission for 21 homes three years ago despite fierce objections from residents.

Now the firm charged with developing the Glebe Farm site - Cambridgeshire-based Granary Developments has asked planners at Corby Council for permission to increase the number of homes on the site because of market conditions.

One of the house designs for the new development

In a statement to the council, RDC Development Consultant director Simon Copson said: "Due to market conditions the landowner is not comfortable with building dwellings of circa 3,000ft that were part of the approved scheme.

"Therefore the largest dwellings have been removed from the scheme in favour of smaller family dwellings and this has increased the number of dwellings by five plots to 26 dwellings overall."

Close to the site is Grade II-listed Glebe Farmhouse as well as a string of historic buildings in close proximity.

In objections submitted to the council, one neighbour said: "We strongly object to the application to increase the number of dwellings from 21 to 26. Church Street has a mix of large and small family homes as well as bungalows all on good-sized plots. It was hoped that the Glebe Farm development would reflect this mix and offer a prestige addition to the area.

The plans for Glebe Farm

"The introduction of five more houses will mean smaller plots and house types which are not appropriate to the environment. There is a need for more executive houses and bungalows whereas there is a plentiful supply of smaller family homes at both Priors Hall and Weldon Park.

"In 2017 the residents of Church Street fought the original application in order to reduce the number of dwellings from 29 to 21. Many issues were identified, objections raised and numerous letters were written. Nothing has changed in the intervening time other than more houses have been built at Priors Hall and Weldon Park generating more traffic in Church Street.

"We urge members of the council to reject this application and look at the bigger picture, demanding a quality development that will enhance Weldon for the future."

Another neighbour said: "The proposal of 26 dwellings and the provision of 70 car parking spaces will significantly add to the existing dangers and is potentially life threatening to pedestrians using Church Street, where there is no existing footpaths or walkways and where dangers have also been increased dramatically since the recent increase in traffic."

An objection from Weldon Parish Council states: "The village primary school is already bursting at the seams and will continue to do so until new schools are built to take some of the children from the new developments that have already occurred elsewhere.

"Some of the original objectors mentioned this point in their letters. The problems have only increased since and will not be helped by trying to build more properties on the site."

Corby Council's Housing Strategy and Enabling Officer Steve Butterworth said: "The submitted proposed development is consistent with the growth ambitions for the borough

"The housing tenure ‘mix’ of the proposed overall development includes 10 affordable/social rent housing properties (just short of the 40% required under the adopted Joint Core Strategy for North Northants) and is therefore acceptable to this section.

"The proposed ’mix’ of the affordable propertieswill be helpful in addressing the housing needs of persons currently on the Keyways housing waiting list. It is also noted that the properties appear to meet the Nationally Described Space Standards (NDSS).

"Overall, this proposed development has the support of Housing Strategy."