Stephenson Way five-storey ‘micro flat’ plan withdrawn after deluge of objections

A plan to bulldoze terraced houses and build 54 new flats in their place in a Corby residential street has been withdrawn by the applicant after objections were raised across the board.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 3rd May 2019, 7:47 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 7:53 am
How the flats might have looked
How the flats might have looked

Glasgow-based AP Properties Consortium wanted to knock down numbers 2-12 Stephenson Way, constructed in 1934, and build three blocks of flats, one standing at five-storeys. The individual flats were much smaller than the government minimum standards for two-person residences.

Local people held a public meeting to talk about their concerns about the scheme and others voiced their worries on social media.

An aerial view of the proposed plan

Now, developers have withdrawn their application - although they are free to resubmit it at any time.

Corby Council’s housing department said that although the application did fit in with the borough’s growth ambitions, the developer had claimed in the submission that the local planning authority (Corby Council) was happy with the ‘scale, density and mix of the propoals’.

Corby Council housing strategy manager Jacqui Page said in her comments on the application that this was not the case and the planning authority had not, in fact, had any discussions with the developer on this issue.

She continued that the area’s 30 per cent affordable home target had not been met and that the apartments appeared not to meet national space standards.

The houses that were due to be bulldozed to make way for the flats

She said: “The development is for one-bed, two-person apartments and the minimum internal floor area requirements appear to be 50m2.

“The application does not provide any substantive evidence that apartments with dimensions smaller than those above are required locally, although the design and access statement does state micro homes are ‘Popular in London where land values are so high it can be nearly impossible for young people to gain a foothold on the property ladder’ – however this is the Corby land market where values are nowhere near the level of London and evidence supporting the need for ‘micro’ homes locally has not been provided by the applicant.

She added that the development seemed out of character with the local area.

Corby Borough Council’s environment department raised a concern about the proximity of the homes to the railway line.

Northamptonshire County Council, as the county’s flood authority, said that the site is on a flood plain and the developer has not submitted a flood risk assessment.

Anglian Water said that the development will lead to an ‘unacceptable risk of flooding downstream.’

Northamptonshire Highways said it could not support that application and that the claim that there were 17 existing residences on the site was ‘grossly inaccurate.’ They added that their policy was not to allow more than 20 residences to share a drive and that the driveway was not up to acceptable adoptable highway standards.

Their statement continued that neither a standard refuse truck nor a Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service fire pump could get on to the site safely.

Their statement added: “It must be re-iterated that no part of the site is adoptable, through its design and layout.”

The highways authority added that there were not enough cycle spaces or car parking spaces adding: “The impact that 54 dwellings would have on Stephenson Way, the junction with Rockingham Road and further afield cannot be ascertained and leaves the local highway network, and its users, at risk of increased congestion.

“The applicant needs to re-consider the site and their application.. The application is recommended for withdrawal.”

Local residents have also objected, with one saying: “The proposed urban conurbation will undoubtedly invite.. increased antisocialness and imprison its more vulnerable occupants, alienating its proposed owners with tenants likely to be here today, gone tomorrow.

“I sincerely hope this proposal is rejected and a more suitable one submitted for humankind’s sake and not just those looking to line their pockets.”

Another resident said: “The development would provide 64 parking spaces for potentially, 108 cars to a road which already suffers from severe traffic congestion with heavy traffic including school buses who are unable to travel safely due to the number of cars double parked and parking on blind corners. This winter a child was hit by a school bus. The amount of children walking to school in an area with too much traffic is already hazardous.

“The fifty-four new homes would also impact on the drainage system. The council is fully aware of the well document problems with drainage in this road.

“The high-rise development would destroy the character of this historic road and make the traffic and flooding problems much more severe. There isn’t another residential build in Corby of this height and the design would visually impact the area and dominate the road. It would also infringe on our privacy with residents able to see clearly into our gardens.”