Villagers object to new homes plan

Potterspury residents at the extraordinary parish council meeting
Potterspury residents at the extraordinary parish council meeting

A plan for 195 homes in a village is “the wrong scheme, in the wrong place, at the wrond time”, according to a parish councillor.

The ancient church of St Nicholas in Potterspury was full to overflowing on Thursday, January 8, as more than 220 residents attended an extraordinary parish council meeting to discuss the application by Gladman Developments.

Protest banner in Potterspury

Protest banner in Potterspury

The speculative developer is also fighting ongoing battles to secure planning permission on two sites in Winslow, and has submitted applications for 80 homes in Steeple Claydon and 100 at Nether Heyford.

Gladman has now submitted outline planning permission for a development of up to 195 homes on land at Sanders Lane, Potterspury.

The plans for the site, which is in open countryside, would add some 500 new inhabitants to the village, increasing its size by 46 per cent.

Residents attending the meeting questioned whether the village infrastructre could cope and voiced concerns about increasing levels of traffic on narrow village roads, the problem of accessing the A5 during peak commuter hours and the safety of local children. 

They discussed drainage and whethet the ageing village sewers could cope with the strain of 195 new homes.

And they pointed out that the popular village school, John Hellins Primary School, would struggle to absorb a significant increase in pupil numbers.

The school, which has a capacity for 140 pupils, currently has 137 on the register.

People expressed serious concern that access to the proposed new housing is sited across a flood plain and the site earmarked for the development has flooded several times in the last two decades, most recently in 2013.

Parish councillor David Marks said: “We are not Nimbys. We have already absorbed significant development and helped provide affordable homes for local people.

“We know that, over time, we must accept some more but this is the wrong scheme, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”

Following the meeting, Potterspury Parish Council will this week be registering its objection to the plans.

A residents’ group has been formed to fight the application and more than 50 letters of objection have already been lodged with South Northants Council (SNC).

The application no S/2014/2356/MAO can be viewed on the SNC planning portal.