Rothwell councillor bumps into radio DJ on his way to deliver letters to Persimmon directors

Rothwell councillor Jim Hakewill told Chris Moyles about efforts to get a link road before house building starts

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:24 pm

Rothwell and Mawsley's NCC councillor, Jim Hakewill, travelled to York today (Thursday) to hand deliver a letter to Persimmon Homes' seven directors discussing the concerns of Rothwell North Working Party.

On the way there, he bumped into radio DJ Chris Moyles at a service station, who then described meeting Cllr Hakewill on air.

In his letter, Cllr Hakewill wrote: "This is in a passionate attempt to get you to delay the commencement of Rothwell North, long enough to re-consider the avoidable damage the current proposals will cause to the health and well-being of the residents of Rothwell and Desborough both during construction and for generations to come.

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Cllr Jim Hakewill, right, with radio DJ Chris Moyles, left, who mentioned meeting Jim on his show

"I am a member of a group of volunteers (Rothwell North Working Party – RNWP). RNWP consists of twelve residents who have met monthly, for three years, in their own time, to get changes to the planning permission that we feel is critically flawed in its determination and design."

RNWP have been campaigning for a link road from the A6 to the Persimmon Homes development of 700 homes so that construction traffic can avoid using the B576.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Midlands said today the plans are for up to 700 properties with 20 per cent for affordable homes. They added the plans include a strategic link road.

The spokesman said: "Our team have met with all formal stakeholders to discuss their concerns and we will continue to engage.

"We have proactively offered to improve the target date for delivery of the strategic link road, compared to that prescribed under the planning consent."

Last month, a spokesman for Persimmon Homes Midlands said a link road would be being built, just not straight away.

They said: "Part of our planning approval is there is a trigger that once we build a certain amount of houses, we have to build the strategic link road."

They said last month that it was not financially feasible to build the road before any other construction took place.

In his letter to the directors, Cllr Hakewill said there are concerns that the planning permission, in its current form "will unnecessarily put lives at risk and increase the impact of illnesses caused by pollution now and in the future."

Cllr Hakewill has asked the directors to meet concerned residents so they can show Persimmon that "through simple, achievable changes to the way you design, access and build the 700 houses, you can minimise the risks and reduce the expense that the current plans involve".

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: "We acknowledge that construction activities will inevitably, at times, impact local residents but we are committed to keeping this to a minimum.

"At Rothwell, our construction and environmental management plan includes measures covering all aspects of health and safety, security, traffic management and neighbour relations, including controlled routes and restricted delivery times for site construction vehicles."

Cllr Hakewill finished his letter by saying: "I am asking you to act now, look beyond the “tick-box planning” that you have acquired. To put local people at the heart of what could be a very refreshing and innovative partnership securing your profitability goals whilst at the same time caring for the people affected by the development.

"I’m convinced with open discussions something special, something to be proud of can come from a sincere dialogue between us."

Speaking to the Northants Telegraph shortly after delivering the letters, Cllr Hakewill said: "I am passionate about getting this housing right.

"We need to hold our breath to see if we can change Persimmons' approach."