Weldon developer 'needs to be honest' with local people

The proposal for 24 homes in Weldon is raising eyebrows

Monday, 10th February 2020, 6:00 am

Weldon residents are said to be concerned about a proposal to build 24 homes on a field at the end of a quiet, unadopted road in their village.

Although there is no formal planning application yet, people living in Larratt Road have been asked to attend a meeting tonight (Monday, February 10) at the Shoulder of Mutton pub to air their views with the developer's agent, Richard Hall of Hall Highway Services Limited.

They have been sent a letter by the agent stating that the developer wishes to bring the road up to standard in order for it to be adopted by the local authority.

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Larratt Road has always been unadopted

Corby Borough Councillor David Sims has spoken to local residents and said he has concerns over the proposal. One resident told the Northants Telegraph they believe they are not being told the full facts.

The letter to local people from the agent says: "(We have) been asked to look into the possibility of improving Larratt Road so that Northamptonshire County Council might consider adopting it as a highway maintainable at the public expense (an adopted highway). This would be linked to a proposal to build 24 new homes.

"Larratt Road is unadopted with no known owner so the potential for it to become adopted highway would benefit everyone along its length, bringing more clarity for people needing to access their property.

"The developer intends to improve Larratt Road to an adoptable standard which would be carried out at no cost to yourself."

The land bounded in red is the development site. Larratt Road is highlighted in blue.

Cllr Sims, who will contest the Corby rural ward for Northamptonshire North Shadow Unitary Authority in May's elections, said: "I'm concerned about this proposal.

"People have to know what's really going to happen here.

"I think the developer needs to be honest.

"The cost to bring the road up to standard could be up to £1million. There's not enough profit in 24 houses to spend a million bringing a road up to standard. The viability is not there. We've seen other developers renege on their obligations in Corby when it emerges that they don't have to money to complete the infrastructure.

"It's also not that easy these days to get a road adopted by the county council. Many authorities are trying to shy away from adopting roads. If they can't get it adopted then will the residents become responsible for its upkeep? Once a road is brought up to standard, maintainance is not cheap.

"I've spoken to several residents who are not happy. I think they will be looking for some answers tonight."

The road has always been unadopted and was originally owned by the manor of Little Weldon, The field in question, next to the Anglian Water overflow pond, was sold in 1920 by George Eyers to Richard and Clara Colyer.

The field is now owned jointly by Michael Noone and Samantha Walsh. It was bought in 1996 by Michael James Noone for an undisclosed price.

One local resident said: "Some people have on their deeds that they own 50 per cent of the road from the boundary of their land. They're worried what will happen to that now. Will they be compensated for the loss of that land?

"The majority of people are not in favour of this.

"I think this meeting might be a bit fiery."

Nobody from the agent Hall Highway Services was available for comment on Friday.