Villagers build up case against new homes

Plans from Barwood Homes to build 35 homes in King's Sutton
Plans from Barwood Homes to build 35 homes in King's Sutton

The battle lines are being drawn up in King’s Sutton as residents prepare to support South Northants Council in a fight against a developer which wants to build 35 new homes in the village.

In January SNC’s development control committee rejected plans by Barwood Homes to build the homes on land to the north of Hampton Drive.

Plans from Barwood Homes to build 35 homes in King's Sutton - street scene submitted as part of the planning application

Plans from Barwood Homes to build 35 homes in King's Sutton - street scene submitted as part of the planning application

Among the council’s reasons for refusal was their policy to concentrate housing expansion in Brackley and Towcester.

It also cited the affect on the rural character of the village and the absence of an agreement on affordable housing.

In March, Barwood lodged an appeal against the decision and a planning inspector will open an appeal hearing in June.

In preparation for the hearing King’s Sutton Parish Council has created an online survey to find out how village residents feel about the proposal. In January concerned residents conducted a door-to-door survey and gathered 521 signatures from people opposed to the development from 426 households.

However, they were not able to get to every home and the parish council decided, in the interests of fairness they would carryout a survey where everyone in the village would have an opportunity to take part.

As of yesterday, Thursday 30 people had filled in the survey forms, with only one person speaking out in support of the development.

Ian Morris, SNC’s member for King’s Sutton said since another developer – Banner Homes – was granted permission for 40 homes, the village had received its fair share of housing growth.

He added: “If the village wanted the homes that would be a different story, but we are sensitive to village communities and that the urban areas of Brackley and Towcester can take further development without that much damage.”

In its appeal application Barwood argued SNC’s policy did not rule out development in villages and the council could not demonstrate it had the required five-year supply of housing land.

Barwood also argues agreements on affordable housing were usually finalised once planning permission was granted and that it intends to honour the council’s policy of asking for the 40 per cent affordable housing.

In its reason for the appeal Barwood said: “It is a proposal that will deliver significant benefits including affordable housing and flooding attenuation works, and there are no significant and demonstrable adverse impacts that justify refusal of planning permission.”

The survey, which is open to village residents only, can be found in the news section of the www.kingssutton.org website.