Councillors unanimously refuse flats plan for Rushden town centre site

Every committee member voted to turn down the application for 34 flats and three dwellings on the site

By Stephanie Weaver
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 12:59 pm

Plans for more than 30 new flats in Rushden town centre have been unanimously refused by councillors.

The application for 34 flats and three dwellings on the Home Suite Home site at 4, Higham Road in Rushden was discussed by East Northants Council's planning management committee last night (Wednesday).

Planning officers had recommended the plans for approval, but numerous concerns were raised by both public speakers as well as councillors during the virtual meeting.

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The Home Suite Home site at 4, Higham Road, Rushden

The first of the public speakers was Cllr Dorothy Maxwell, who said she was speaking on behalf of the residents and she urged the committee to address a number of 'serious concerns' she had.

She described it as 'a mad over-development' and added: "I ask you to turn down this application for all these reasons to protect the residents - parking, noise, air quality, odour and traffic."

Cllr Paul Harley from Rushden Town Council was another speaker, who said: "The mass and scale of the proposed flats is totally disproportionate to the existing street scene and will totally dominate the total area."

He also said Rushden already has an over-provision of flats within the High Street area.

As the floor was opened up for committee members to speak, Cllr Dudley Hughes said: "This is not a suitable use of this site.

"It's an over-development of the site and very bad for people locally."

Cllr Harriet Pentland questioned the proposed parking provision said: "I don't think this is suitable."

Cllr Lee Wilkes voiced a number of concerns about the application, including the number of parking spaces and the development having no affordable housing.

Ward member Cllr Andy Mercer proposed that they refuse the application on numerous grounds, including insufficient parking, design and layout, the impact on an undesignated heritage asset and over-development of the site.

His proposal was seconded and the committed then voted unanimously to refuse the application.

To read more about the application, click here.

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