'Weldon has done its bit': Dozens object to housing development on local field
People living near the site are unhappy at plans for nine homes
A bid to build nine houses on a site classed as open countryside in Weldon has been met with furious resistance from locals who say the village has already taken its fair share of new houses.
Developer Sam Walsh of nearby Bridge Street has used a relatively new type of application called Planning in Principle which asks a local authority for permission to create a residential development - and to iron out the details at a later date.
But locals say that flooding in the area has been increasing in recent years, that the Weldon Lagoon is already struggling, and that they do not want to lose their green corridor between the village and the A43.
One landowner has invoked ancient legislation to try to argue that the development should be stopped in its tracks.
The applicant wants to build nine homes on the field at the end of Larratt Road, which is unmade and unadopted. They are proposing to create a new entrance by widening a public footpath off the Steel Road / Bangrave Road roundabout, which itself is due a £4m upgrade. When locals first heard of the proposals earlier this year, they formed an action group spearheaded by Corby Borough Councillor David Sims.
He says that because the application is only for nine houses, Anglian Water and the Local Planning Authority do not have to be consulted. However, he has ensured that both have now submitted a response to the application. He shared a video of dramatic recent flooding in a nearby house (shown above).
He said: "Dash Farm Close and Chapel Road have both experienced serious flooding on a number of occasions.
"I've asked the flood authority to look carefully at this. I think it's important that they really consider the impact of the development on surrounding homes. It could put them at serious risk of flooding.
"The ponds there appear to be at the end of their lives and we already know that there has been flooding in the surrounding streets during the heavy rain in August. This is only going to exacerbate the problem."
The applicant Sam Walsh of Bridge Street, has submitted a design and access statement that says: "Overall, it is considered that the site location is naturally sustainable and the numerous benefits of development including the provision of housing.
"The site is well related to the infill settlement, including the services and facilities, is not high quality agricultural land. As a result the benefits of development demonstrably outweigh any harm."
Weldon has recently had 5,500 homes at Priors Hall and more than 1,000 at Weldon Park consented on its doorstep. More than 1,500 are expected at Tresham Garden Village at neighbouring Deenethorpe Airfield.
One objector said: "Weldon has already supplied at least 8,000 homes towards the local requirement and has done its bit."
There are two settling ponds next to the site known as the Weldon Lagoon. One objector says: "The lagoon was made in the 1980s under the New Town Act and information suggests it had a 30-year life.
"In recent times and due to the ever-growing trend of covering permeable land, the amount of surface water has increased.
"This now finds itself flooding into properties on Chapel Road, causing damage to the dwellings."
Questions over the lagoon's integrity were raised in 2001 and its capacity was permanently reduced. The ponds were placed on the site that used to filter out dangerous chemicals from the water running out of the steelworks before it ran back into the North Willow Brook.
One local says that he is concerned that the application covers land not owned by the applicant, and that it will severely restrict his access to his own field. He says: "The lnclosure Award of the 10th of October 1792 states that Larratt Road will remain the breadth of forty feet and awarded for the use of all and every owners of land in little and great Weldon.
"The proposed site plan will drastically reduce the width of Larratt Road restricting the public access that has been enjoyed for over two hundred years, blocking the access to my land opposite and eliminating the turning area for vehicles along Larratt Road."
Another objector says: "The garden for our house is high and slopes towards the house, the volume of water and pressure of the land behind has caused the ground to move causing concerns.
"The road into our driveway floods, the back garden is very soggy due to the water sitting around and having nowhere to drain away leaving our land like soggy clay. Any more building work will increase the risk of flooding and subsidence as the land for planning sits above the properties below on Chapel Road.
Another says: "Accessing the site from the A43 would dramatically reduce the character of the area, create another entrance into the village and enter an unadopted road at the parish boundary. This would be counterproductive to the hard work the parish council has put into dealing with the increase in traffic volumes owing to other large scale developments.
"The A43 roundabout isn't suitable for more traffic, particularly from the currently unused entrance. There are a number of collisions on the roundabout and pulling out of this exit isn't very safe.
"There doesn't appear to be enough space to create a road, with two footpaths required by the design code. The area is used as a right of way for villagers to the industrial area for decades and would be a further loss of amenity.
An objection from Weldon Parish Council says: "Currently Larratt Road is a cul-de-sac, the existing residential roads leading to Larratt are increasingly narrow, and are quiet, reflective of the residential area. Access to this area from the A43 will be wholly inappropriate, likely to create a ‘rat run’ which will fundamentally change the character of the neighbourhood, increasing car (and potentially commercial) traffic, the resultant danger to residents, their pets, and disturbing the quiet enjoyment of this area of the village.
"There is an enormous amount of residential development already consented in Weldon, it is our view that this is inappropriate development, reducing the village’s precious and dwindling green spaces.£
Residents are also worried about a further planning application in Bangrave Road for start-up units that was submitted earlier this month. Cllr Sims said: "The second development will only add to the problem."
You can view the plans and comment on them here.