Chairman: Cllr. J. Clarke Tel: 01604 847976
Vice Chairman: Cllr. K. Greatorex Tel: 01604 842332

10th January 2017

Mr S Ellis
Major Projects Officer
Planning Department
Daventry District Council
Lodge Road
NN11 4FP

Dear Steve

Re: DA/2016/1144 Gladman Developments Land off Holly Lodge Drive, Boughton

Outline planning application for up to 75 residential dwellings (including up to 35% affordable housing), demolition of existing outbuildings, introduction of structural planting and landscaping, informal public open space and children’s play area, surface water attenuation and associated ancillary works. All matters to be reserved with the exception of vehicular access point to be provided from Holly Lodge Drive.

Thank you for your letter dated the 14th December 2016 and for agreeing a short extension of time to enable the Parish Council to discuss the above planning application at their full council meeting last night. As you are aware, Boughton Parish Council objected to a previous application (DA/2015/1185) by Gladman Developments for up to 110 residential dwellings on land which included this site in February of last year.

Boughton Parish Council unanimously resolved to object to the application on the following grounds:-

a) The harm caused by the loss of this area and the impact further development will have for existing parishioners, opposed to yet more development in this area of Northampton, must be a priority consideration.

b) It is evident that the proposed development conflicts with saved policies within the Daventry District Council (DDC) Local Plan, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and with policies within the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (WNJCS). Councillors consider the weight afforded to the saved policies within the Local Plan are consistent with the NPPF which does not alter the statutory status of the Development Plan for Daventry District as the starting point for decision making.

c) Additionally, this land was not designated as a Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) of Northampton within the WNJCS. As you are aware, this site was put forward as an “omission site” as part of the WNJCS and was not accepted for inclusion by the Inspector.

d) The proposal is contrary to saved Local Plan Policies GN1, HS22 and HS24 as it proposes “new build” residential development beyond the existing village confines. It will affect adjoining open land which is of particular significance to the form and character of the area. The development will create a “two centre” village given the nature, proposed location and scale and would be new development in open countryside which is contrary to saved Local Plan policy HS10. Such a development will further erode the open countryside, the intrinsic character of which should be recognised and protected.

e) At the heart of the NPPF is a presumption in favour of sustainable development (Paragraph 14) but Councillors are of the opinion that any further new development in this location is not sustainable as it will impose further undue strain on the local infrastructure, highways and public services.

f) In the Planning Statement (Paragraph 1.3.3) the applicant states:-
“The impact on the local highway network will not be severe. The application provides a better than nil-detriment to the local highway network”. This is simply not the case. Work on the development at Buckton Fields is well underway, which will deliver 376 additional houses in the first phase, and Councillors expressed concern about the detrimental effect that additional traffic will have on the existing traffic problems through Boughton village and the surrounding area. This development will further overstretch roads which are already at full capacity in the area, including the Kingsthorpe corridor, and is contrary to saved Local Plan Policy GN2C. Additionally, the adverse impact of noise and air pollution with additional traffic movements must be a consideration.

g) Councillors voiced concern regarding highway safety and the proposed access location directly onto Holly Lodge Drive and its close proximity with the roundabout to Moulton Park and Boughton Green Road. The traffic on the local road network from both Holly Lodge Drive and Boughton Green Road to Moulton Park is extremely congested and on occasions gridlocked and this proposal will further increase the difficulties associated with the existing traffic problems during peak times.

h) The proposed development would be contrary to Policies S1(D) (The Distribution of Development), S10(i) (Sustainable Development Principles) and R1 (Spatial Strategy for the Rural Areas) of the WNJCS by virtue of having an unacceptable impact upon the character and appearance of the local landscape and on an area of open space that is of particular significance to the form and character of the urban fringe at this point, and which constitutes part of a “Green Wedge‟ which forms part of the open and attractive transition between the existing built-up area of Northampton and the wider open countryside.

i) In the Planning statement the applicant states:- ……. its loss would not be significant in Framework terms (NPPF 112). To the contrary, the loss of this open space would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of developing the land. The proposed development is contrary to saved Local Plan policy EN10 which protects land designated as Green Wedge. This is an important policy and Councillors are keen to protect this area of open space and resist further new development within the parish. Paragraph 3.32 of saved Local Plan Policy EN10 states that the “District Council will protect green wedges and seek to enhance them and improve access to them so that the public have both attractive and useable country side and parks near to their homes”.

j) Councillors believe that the proposal would have a demonstrably harmful effect on the character and appearance of the countryside and the setting of Boughton Parish.

k) Councillors remain extremely concerned with over development in the villages in this area of Daventry District and remain of the view that it is vital to retain a buffer against the physical intrusion that the northern outskirts of Northampton would otherwise create. It is equally important for the villages to retain their individual distinctiveness and charm and to avoid coalescence at all costs by yet further development.

l) Daventry District Council is now able to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing land (Housing Land Availability 2015) and Councillors felt that this was now a vital and important consideration. Councillors also understand that Daventry District Council has also significantly exceeded its new housing need figures for rural areas so the requirement for yet further new housing is reduced.

m) Boughton Parish is rich in archaeological remains, containing both Roman and Saxon sites and there are also two barrows, one at Bunkers Hill, and the other at Boughton Grange. The site of an old Motte and Bailey lies within nearby Boughton Pocket Park.

n) The area surrounding the site has a number of listed buildings. Holly Lodge, which is a Grade II listed building, and the Old St John’s Church which is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1972, are in close proximity to the site as is Boughton Hall and Park which is included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.

o) The proposal site would be situated adjacent to Boughton Green and the history of this land can be traced back over many hundreds of years.

p) In King Edward III’s reign (1327-1377) Sir Henry Greene obtained for himself and his heirs a Charter from the King to establish a Fair to be held yearly for three days (24th, 25th and 26th June) beginning on the vigil of St John the Baptist. Sir Henry was the Lord Chief Justice of England in 1353 and the Speaker of the House of Lords in two parliaments.

q) This Fair was second only to the London Fair in importance in its time. Boughton Fair survived for 550 years until the middle of the 20th century and was held on this spacious green which gave its name to the Greene family. Noblemen brought their horses and stock for exhibition, racing and sale. Silk merchants, sword cutlers, armour makers, jewellers, saddlers, wig makers, carvers and marble workers sold their wares. There were poets and musicians and eating booths and stalls and shows. Boughton Fair was a boon to all of Northampton.

r) This famous green where Boughton Fair was held is most picturesque in appearance with an undulating surface caused partly by extensive quarrying, the remains of several old pits being found in the neighbourhood. The sandy ground is riddled with rabbit holes and the keeper of Moulton Park used to claim free warren.

s) Boughton Maze was first mentioned in the Charter of Boughton Fair granted by Edward III. It lay in a large enclosed area on the green and was known as the Shepherd’s Race. It was made up of a series of grass verges spiralling into the centre and back to a single entrance. Originally it was used for village games.

t) Boughton Green has long been associated with the Fair and its attachment to the original Manor of Boughton and it is important to retain its long link with social and cultural history. Within the village, the green and open spaces, whether large or small, should be preserved.

The Parish Council believe that there is no justification to grant planning permission for this development and that there are sufficient planning reasons for this application to be rejected and would urge that this application is refused.

The Parish Council reserves the right to submit further comments and, without prejudice, to the principle of the development to offer comments in relation to any S106 Agreement.

Yours sincerely,

Jayne Bunting

Clerk to the Council & RFO

Residents can write in with their own observations to this application direct to the Planning Officer at Daventry District Council