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Third Chester Road application's Appeal Hearing

There is, after all, to be a Planning Appeal Hearing rather than an Inquiry for Barwood's third Chester Road planning application (ref: WP/15/00281/OUT).

The Hearing will open on 7th December 2016 in the Council Chamber at Swanspool House.

Station Road appeal dismissed.

The Station Road planning appeal (ref: WP/14/00298/OUT) has been dismissed.

The Inspector's Appeal Decision is dated 12th September 2016. It may be read in full at the Borough of Wellingborough's Planning website. See the "Appeal Decision" document published 13th September 2016.

Little Irchester planning permission refused

The Planning Committee, at its meeting on Wednesday, 10th February 2016, refused outline planning permission for the Little Irchester application.

Third Chester Road Inquiry

Barwood has lodged an appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for its third Chester Road scheme. A letter dated 4th February 2016 from the Planning Inspectorate informs the Borough Council of Wellingborough. A third public Inquiry is to be held. No date has yet been set.

The Planning Inspectorate's reference is APP/H2835/W/15/3140655. The window for representations is open until 10th March 2016.

The Save Little Irchester Village campaign begins

Villagers are uniting to object to the proposed development of 200 dwellings on the land which lies in the angle formed by Gipsy Lane and London Road.

Irchester Parish Council has already objected to this planning application. Click here to read the points it has made.

Documentation is available via the Wellingborough Planning Authority website's search facility. Enter application reference WP/15/00705/OUT, and click the Search button.

If you don't receive a draft objection letter through the door, all is not lost. Click here to view a printable copy. New here? You might find the How to page helpful.

Station Road — Public Inquiry

The Planning Inspectorate has agreed to hold an Inquiry into the refusal of outline planning permission for this 150-dwellings development. The reference number is APP/H2835/W/15/3136236.

The Inspectorate's window for comments closed on 28th December.

Any comments which you have already submitted to Wellingborough Borough Council will be forwarded automatically to the Planning Inspectorate, so you do not need to resubmit them.

No date has yet been set for the public Inquiry.

Another scheme — this time in Little Irchester

As catnip is to cats, so Irchester is to developers. Here's yet another scheme.

This one proposes up to 200 dwellings on the agricultural land which lies in the angle formed between the A509 and Gipsy Lane. It will extend eastwards to the boundaries of the gipsy encampment and the Country Park, and northwards to enclose the southern fringe of Little Irchester.

The application for outline planning permission was lodged with Wellingborough Borough Council on 6th November 2015. Its reference number is WP/15/00705/OUT.

The agent which lodged the application is Lanchester Land & Planning Ltd. The application is made on behalf of Bowbridge Land Ltd

Station Road appeal to the Planning Inspectorate

On 9th October 2015, Acreage Strategic Land Limited lodged with the Planning Inspectorate an appeal against Wellingborough Borough Council's refusal of outline planning permission for the proposed 150-dwellings development on the land beside Station Road.

An Inquiry is sought “In order that full consideration can be given to the evidence in support of the Statement of Case”.

The Planning Inspectorate's reference number for this application is APP/H2835/W/15/3136236.

Both applications refused

At the meeting on 5th August, the Planning Committee considered applications for 150 houses off Station Road, and for 59 houses off Chester Road.

Planning permission for each of these applications was refused.

Members of the Save Irchester Village group, the Chair of the Parish Council and Borough Councillor Jon-Paul Carr addressed the meeting. They argued cogently against the applications, and covered a wide range of issues. (Irchester's two other Borough Councillors are on the Planning Committee.)

A representative for the Station Road developers also spoke and was questioned closely by members of the Planning Committee. In many cases the developers' representative found it difficult to clarify the points raised.

Councillors debated thoroughly the issues with both applications. Concurring with the recommendations of the Planning Officers, they all voted to refuse the applications.

Details of both applications, including the reasons for the Planning Officers’ recommendations to refuse, are given in the Planning Committee Agenda & Reports PDF.

The application numbers are: for Station Road, WP/14/00298/OUT; and for Chester Road, WP/15/00281/OUT.

Station Road application springs to life

On 17th June 2015, the Station Road application springs to life again with the arrival of its Heritage Statement at the Planning website.

To view the Statement, visit the search facility. Enter application reference WP/14/00298/OUT, and click the Search button. Click the Documents tab. When the list appears, click the icon beside "17 Jun 2015 - Report - Heritage statemnent - final may 2015" [sic].

In paragraph 3.20, the Statement notes that it will still be possible to see the church spire above the rooftops of the proposed development.

In paragraph 4.03, it contends that "the development would result in less than substantial harm to these listed buildings."

In paragraph 4.04, it says that "The proposed development would also provide the opportunity to introduce some landscape screening to the Biscay Close development..."

Read the whole thing.

Gipsy Lane

Kettering chartered surveyors Davies & Co are offering for sale 120 acres of land "Suitable for Residential Development subject to planning" to the west of Gipsy Lane.

Visit their website, click "Property and Land for Sale" in the sidebar, and scroll down to the section entitled "Land at Vicarage Farm, Irchester, Northamptonshire, NN29 7DG". The map may surprise you.

Judging by the outline on the map, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Irchester Old Lodge Pit, forms part of the land which is offered for sale.

Our understanding was that this site couldn't be developed because it was of Special Scientific Interest.

Barwood's third application

On behalf of Barwood Strategic Land II LLP, Peter Brett Associates has lodged a third application for the Chester Road site.

This one is for "Erection of up to 59 dwellings (including affordable homes), new vehicular and pedestrian access, open space and landscaping". This time, the proposed development is back at the northern end of the site, opposite the nursery and the allotments.

Documentation is available via the Wellingborough Planning Authority website's search facility. Enter application reference WP/15/00281/OUT, and click the Search button.

English Heritage

English Heritage representatives have visited the village and spoken with the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. They have advised the Steering Group to undertake a 'Heritage Impact Matrix/Assessment' for all potential development sites in Irchester. The Steering Group plans to follow this advice and is currently exploring options.

Such an assessment will examine issues relating to, and impacts on, listed buildings (particularly the Church, in our case), historic landscapes and nearby archaeological sites (notably Chester House, in our case). The results of the assessment will guide the Steering Group's deliberations, should carry considerable weight with planning authorities and inspectors, and could conceivably preclude development on certain sites.

The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has also responded to the recent draft North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit Core Spatial Strategy and the associated Wellingborough Local Plan.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

David Walsh has spotted an interesting report by a parliamentary select committee, the Communities and Local Government Committee. The report, published on 16th December 2014, is entitled "Operation of the National Planning Policy Framework". The contents of this House of Commons publication will resonate with anyone who sat through last year's Inquiry, where a detailed analysis of the wording of the NPPF was fundamental to many of the arguments which were aired.

The Station Road planning application will not be considered at the meeting of the Planning Committee which is scheduled for 11th February 2015.

English Heritage has formally submitted an objection to the application on the grounds that it affects the setting of the Grade I listed Parish Church of St Katharine's. This was one of the Inspector’s objections to the second Barwood application for Chester Road. The Conservation Officer of the Borough Council of Wellingborough has also highlighted the damage this development could do to the setting of the church.

Only 2.5% of listed buildings are classed as Grade I, so our church is very special.

The Station Road developers must now draw up a Heritage Impact Assessment to address the concerns of English Heritage and the Borough Council’s Conservation Officer. They may well find this impossible without major changes to their proposal. We understand that they are currently trying to decide what to do.

We'll keep you posted on further developments, but it could be a few months before anything happens.

Meanwhile, correspondence concerning the Station Road application WP/14/00298/OUT continues to accumulate. At the Wellingborough Planning Authority website, enter WP/14/00298/OUT into the search box. When the results come up, click on the Documents tab and scroll down the list to see some interesting recent items. For instance, there's this one ...

26 November 2014 Consultee response - peter brett associates

This letter, on behalf of Barwood Strategic Land LLC, makes several objections to the Station Road development. Its second paragraph repays careful reading:

"In dismissing the above appeal the Inspector found that a part of the residential development proposed by our clients would be harmful to the setting of the grade I listed St Katherine’s Parish Church and the historic core of the village, when viewed from Irchester Country Park and in distant views from the east. However, the Inspector also concluded that development at the north eastern and southern ends of the appeal site would not be harmful to these heritage assets or to the wider landscape as a whole. As a result, our clients are now drawing up revised proposals for discussion with the Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Group."

So a third Barwood application is on the cards.

The relevant paragraph of the Inspector's report is no.81, where the Inspector says:

"81. I have given careful thought to other ways of developing this site, whilst leaving the central section in its existing agricultural use. The notional development area adjacent to Chester Road, with minor adjustment to its western boundary, could accommodate a higher density of development than that shown. If careful attention was given to landscaping along its northern edge, in order to replicate the existing green edge to the village at this point, then development could take place without adversely affecting the character and appearance of the village and countryside or the setting of the listed building. If the development south of the central field boundary were to be moved southwards to facilitate appropriate screening and better integrated with the existing development then that likewise need not undermine the matters of importance that I have discussed above. It could also be developed at a higher density than the notional layout implies. However, I have no evidence to enable me to conclude that a number of dwellings within the scope of those applied for could be accommodated in the reduced areas for development. More fundamentally there is no access to the appeal site proposed from the south and it is not for me to speculate on the feasibility of providing one."

THE CAMPAIGN

Save Irchester Village was formed in April 2012 to oppose a planning application for a large residential development on agricultural land adjacent to the village boundary.

Since then, three such applications have been and gone, but the village still faces an application for another large residential development, and a fifth application is now intended.

Please visit the Schemes page for more information.

See OBJECTING ONLINE for details of how to submit an objection. We also provide an objection letter which you can print and post if you are not able to go online.

OUR CONCERNS

We are concerned with maintaining Irchester as a thriving village, protecting our village boundary and our local environment and infrastructure.

Protecting the village boundary or policy line is key to any village community since, once it is compromised, the village will quickly expand in all directions, with huge environmental impacts and without the infrastructure to cope.

We are therefore opposed to all development which extends our village boundary.

In 2010, over 2,200 people signed a petition to keep the village within its current envelope.

All political parties agreed on this at the 2010 General Election.

WHAT WE WANT

Save Irchester Village campaign poster

As a group we fully support the Irchester, Knuston and Little Irchester Neighbourhood Plan which is being prepared by a group of villagers linked with the Parish Council.

This is the opportunity for the whole village to say what we do want rather than what a developer looking to make a quick profit thinks we should have.

The Plan should address future development needs and the infrastructure to support them. It should include things such as affordable home provision, recreation facilities and healthcare provision as well of course as addressing the underlying infrastructure to ensure that any further development is sustainable.

WHO WE ARE

Rt Hon Peter Bone MP with the residents' petition

The group consists of Irchester residents and other very active supporters. Some were born here, some are members of families which have been here for many generations, and some have moved here from other places. Whatever our origins, we are all united in our wish to preserve Irchester, to manage it responsibly, and to hand it on in good shape to future generations of residents.

We are led by a small committee of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.

To contact us please use the email link at the foot of this page

Please support our campaign.

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The story so far …

September 2016

The Planning Inspector's decision, dated 12th September 2016, dismisses the Station Road appeal

August 2016

The Station Road Planning Appeal Inquiry sits for a fourth and final day on 3rd August 2016.

The Chester Road Appeal Hearing date is announced. The hearing will open on 7th December 2016.

June 2016

The Station Road Planning Appeal Inquiry sits on 7th-9th June 2016, Planning Inspector David Prentis presiding.

At the Chester Road Planning Appeal Hearing on Wednesday 1st June 2016, the Inspector decides that a full Planning Appeal Inquiry is required and the Hearing is adjourned.

April 2016

The date of the Station Road appeal Inquiry is announced. It will open on Tuesday 7th June 2016.

The date of the latest Chester Road appeal Hearing is announced. It will open on Wednesday 1st June 2016.

February 2016

On 10th February, the Planning Committee refuses the Little Irchester application.

In a letter dated 4th February 2016, the Planning Inspectorate informs the Borough Council of Wellingborough that Barwood has lodged an appeal in respect of the third Chester Road scheme. This letter begins the appeals process.

The Station Road Inquiry is scheduled for 7th June 2016.

January 2016

Little Irchester residents mobilise against a proposed development of 200 dwellings adjacent to their homes.

December 2015

Barwood lodges an appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for its third Chester Road scheme.

November 2015

On 16th November, the Planning Inspectorate accepts the Station Road scheme's planning appeal. No date has yet been set for the Inquiry.

On 6th November, Lanchester Land & Planning Ltd, on behalf of Bowbridge Land Ltd, lodges an application for outline planning permission for a development consisting of up to 200 dwellings at Little Irchester.

October 2015

Acreage Strategic Land Ltd lodges an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, seeking an Inquiry in a bid to overturn the refusal of outline planning permission for the Station Road development.

September 2015

Neighbourhood Plan Stage 2 consultation — Irchester residents are invited to choose from three options to meet Irchester's needs over the next twenty years: 150 dwellings off Austin Close, 150 dwellings south of James Street, or 75 dwellings on each of these two sites.

August 2015

On 5th August, the Borough Council of Wellingborough's Planning Committee considered the Station Road application and the third Chester Road application. Outline planning permission was refused for each application.

June 2015

On 17th June, the Heritage Statement for the Station Road application is posted on the Wellingborough Planning Authority website

Kettering chartered surveyors Davies & Co are offering for sale 120 acres of land "Suitable for Residential Development subject to planning" to the west of Gipsy Lane.

May 2015

On 6th May, Barwood lodges a third application for the Chester Road site. This time, the proposed development is back at the northern end of the site, opposite the nursery and the allotments. It is for up to 59 dwellings.

December 2014

In a letter dated 17nd December 2014, posted on the Wellingborough Planning Authority website on 22nd December, English Heritage objects to the Station Road application, ref. WP/14/00298/OUT.

The University of Leicester Archeological Service's Trial Trenching Report dated 29th September is posted on the Wellingborough Planning Authority website, among the documents for the Station Road application, ref.WP/14/00298/OUT. It describes the archeological survey of the three fields which are the subject of the Station Road application.

November 2014

In a letter dated 25th November 2014, Peter Brett Associates LLP on behalf of Barwood objects to the Station Road proposal. On the Wellingborough Planning Authority website see "26 November 2014 Consultee response - peter brett associates".

The Inspector's decision concerning the second Chester Road application is issued on 18th November at the Planning Inspectorate website. He has dismissed the Barwood appeal.

October 2014

The public inquiry into the second Chester Road application closes on 3rd October. The Inspector's decision is expected at the beginning of November.

September 2014

The public inquiry into the second Barwood proposal for the Chester Road site opens on 30th September, Inspector Middleton presiding.

Volunteers meet on two more occasions at the village library to rehearse their presentations to the inquiry.

On 25th September, the Save Irchester Village campaign delivers a window poster and an objection letter to each residence in Irchester. The more window posters the inspector sees, the more impressed he will be.

August 2014

On 20th August, volunteers meet at the village library to rehearse their presentations to the Chester Road inquiry scheduled for 30th September 2014 at the Redwell Leisure Centre.

The September 2014 issue of "Village Voice" carries an article by the Save Irchester Village campaign's chairman, Tom Lloyd.

July 2014

On 29th July, volunteers meet at the village library to plan presentations both to the Chester Road inquiry and to the as yet unscheduled Planning Committee meeting at which the Station Road application will be considered.

On 21st July, Irchester Parish Council meets in the Village Hall. The application for outline planning permission for the Station Road development (WP/14/00298/OUT) is considered. Several members of the public speak to identify the shortcomings of the development and its disadvantages for the village. The Parish Council decides to object to the application.

The results of the Stage 1 Consultation are published on the Irchester, Knuston and Little Irchester Neighbourhood Plan website

Save Irchester Village holds a well-attended public meeting at the Bowls Club on the 18th of July 2014 to discuss the Planning Appeal for Chester Road and the Planning Application for Station Road. Several residents volunteer to speak at the meeting of Wellingborough Borough Council's Planning Committee.

It is not yet known at which date the Station Road application will be set before the Planning Committee. Meanwhile, the cut-off date for objection letters is noted to be a formality, and actually the Borough Council will continue to accept and consider objection letters until noon on the day of that meeting.

June 2014

Neighbourhood Plan Stage 1 Consultation, with a questionnaire circulated to all households for return by 30th June 2014. For details, please click here.

Neighbourhood Plan drop-in events held at Irchester Library on the 18th and 26th of June 2014.

Barwood leaflets the village, urging residents to vote for development in the Northern Zone identified in the Neighbourhood Plan. That's the Chester Road site.

WBC supply of housing beats 5-year requirement. This is good news. To see why, click here.

Acreage Strategic Limited applies for outline planning permission for their proposed development on the Station Road site.

Website refresh. Click here for techie stuff.

May 2014

The window for representations to the Planning Portal about the second Barwood appeal closes on 16th May 2014. The Inquiry is to be held in Wellingborough on 30th September 2014.

April 2014

The Borough Council of Wellingborough notifies objectors that Barwood has appealed to the Secretary of State and an Inquiry will follow.

All comments and revised or additional representations must be directed to the Planning Portal. They must be received by 16th May 2014 and must quote the appeal reference APP/H2835/A/14/2215925.

Acreage holds a second public consultation concerning its Station Road plans on 22nd April 2014. This consultation is mounted at the school.

March 2014

Barwood lodges an appeal on 21st March 2014 against the Borough Council of Wellingborough's Planning Committee refusal of outline planning permission for its second proposal for the Chester Road site.

February 2014

The expected first outline planning application by Acreage Strategic Ltd for the Station Road development has not yet been lodged

Barwood withdraws its application to the High Court for a Judicial Review of the Inspector's rejection of its first proposal for the Chester Road site.

The Borough Council of Wellingborough's Planning Committee refuses outline planning permission for Barwood's second proposal for the Chester Road site

December 2013

Save Irchester Village holds a well-attended public meeting at the Bowls Club on 17th December 2013.

Acreage holds a public consultation concerning their Station Road plans at the Village Hall on 4th December 2013.

November 2013

The Parish Council, meeting at the Village Hall on 27th November 2013, discusses the new Barwood outline planning application. The minutes of this meeting are well worth a read, for all the many problems which this development would entail are listed at length. To go to the Parish Council minutes, click here and when the page displays click its "Minutes November 2013" link to download the Word document.

On 19th November 2013, Barwood lodges a second outline planning application for the Chester Road site. The number of dwellings rises from 124 to 149, the provision for a new Medical Centre is omitted, and orchards are added for purposes of visual amenity.

Acreage announces a public consultation concerning their intended Station Road development. It is to be held on 4th December 2013 at the Village Hall.

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