Plans approved for 49 homes on site of former Kettering Town FC ground

Rockingham Road before it was demolished
Rockingham Road before it was demolished

A site that for more than a century was the home of Kettering football will officially become a housing development.

A new chapter will begin at the former home of Kettering Town Football Club after councillors decided last night (Wednesday) to approve outline plans for 49 homes on the site in Rockingham Road.

They lamented the loss of the much-loved sporting site but said the plan put forward by the Harpur Developments Ltd was the best proposal for the future.

The scheme will be a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses and will incorporate a small play area. The company putting forward the proposal, which was formerly known as Ben Pickering Ltd, will pay £11,000 per home in planning contributions.

Conservative councillor Lesley Thurland said: “We all know the history of this site and it is a real shame that we are sitting here.

“But when I think about what it could be and what the other options are I think I am quite pleased with the outcome after all these years.”

At the meeting Labour councillor Linda Adams said she thought too many homes were being squeezed on to the site and had concerns about how far some residents would have to move their wheeled bins for the weekly collection.

There were nine objections from residents and the highways authority also objected because it said the proposals did not fully meet highway standards and had an issue with the use of permeable paving. The agency has also requested that a toucan crossing be created for those residents who may want to walk down Northfield Avenue.

Entry to the new development will be via the mini-roundabout near the bowling alley.

The football club had played at the ground since 1897, but left in 2011 after the freehold lease ran out.

Poppies fans had always hoped to return to the former ground but the stadium was demolished in 2017.

The team now plays in Burton Latimer and the club has recently acquired a site in the Scott Road area of Kettering.

The application will need to come back to the council for full planning permission to be agreed.

Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporter