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THE LOCATIONS

These are the sites which have been the subjects of planning applications for residential developments in recent years.

THE CHESTER ROAD SITE

Chester Road continues the High Street out past St Katherine's church to join the A45 dual carriageway. The site is the 82.85 acres of agricultural land which lie to the north-west of the village, between Chester Road and Irchester Country Park. The site is bounded to the north by the A45 and curves south around the village.

THE STATION ROAD SITE

Station Road heads east from the High Street towards Knuston and Rushden. The site comprises the fields to the north side of Station Road, where there are presently open prospects down towards the allotments, the railway line and the Nene valley beyond. The site surrounds the Biscay Close development which was built on the site of the old shoe factory.

THE LITTLE IRCHESTER SITE

The site is the agricultural land lying between the A509 London Road and the Country Park and the gipsy encampment to the east. It is bounded to the north by the present southern fringe of Little Irchester, and to the south by Gipsy Lane.

PLANNING APPLICATION NO.1 — reference number WP/2012/0165

The first application for outline planning permission was lodged in 2012 by Barwood. It was for 124 dwellings on the Chester Road site and included, for indicative purposes only, space for a new village Medical Centre. A gift of 7 acres of land to the Parish Council for recreational use was offered.

In 2013, referring to this first application, the MP for Wellingborough, Peter Bone, said:

"This is part of an ongoing campaign to save Irchester village. We have now got to the appeal, which starts on Tuesday, February 19. It will be the first appeal that I have spoken at because I normally regard these sorts of things as a local government matter, but the council has said no to it and it touches on the issue of the over-development of our area. It’s really important because we have got the Wellingborough East and the Wellingborough North developments, so we are providing the houses.

"They are trying to build outside the village boundaries and it would set a precedent, which is why I feel that I have got a right to speak."

The application was refused by the Borough Council of Wellingborough’s Planning Committee at a meeting on 13th August 2012, and was then referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. After the ensuing public inquiry held in February 2013, the Planning Inspectorate also found against the application. The Inspector's decision was published on 5th June 2013. Barwood sought a judicial review in the High Court but discontinued that intention in early 2014.

PLANNING APPLICATION NO.2 — reference number WP/2013/0590

Meanwhile, in November 2013 Barwood lodged a second application for outline planning permission for the Chester Road site. This increased the number of dwellings to 149. The Medical Centre provision was omitted from this new indicative design which instead featured orchards for scenic purposes. The land gift offer was reduced to 5 acres.

On 19th February 2014, this application was considered by the Borough Council of Wellingborough’s Planning Committee, which refused permission.

On 21st March 2014, Barwood lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate against this decision. The appeal was heard at an Inquiry which opened on 30th September 2014 in Wellingborough. The Inspector, in his decision announced 18th November 2014, dismissed the appeal.

PLANNING APPLICATION NO.3 — reference number WP/14/00298/OUT

In March 2014, an application was lodged seeking outline planning permission for 150 dwellings on the fields to the north of Station Road. It was lodged by Leicester-based architect and planning consultancy rg+p ltd on behalf of Acreage Strategic Land Limited.

An article in the Northamptonshire Telegraph on 29th November 2013 gave some details.

Permission was refused by the Borough Council of Wellingborough’s Planning Committee on 5th August 2015.

An appeal against this decision was lodged with the Planning Inspectorate on 9th October 2015, an Inquiry being sought.

On 16th November 2015, The Planning Inspectorate agreed that there should be a public Inquiry.

The Inquiry sat on 7th-9th June 2016, and again on 3rd August 2016.

The appeal was dismissed. The Inspector's decision was published on 12th September.

PLANNING APPLICATION NO.4 — reference number WP/15/00281/OUT

On 6th May 2015, Barwood lodged a third application for outline planning permission for the Chester Road site. This time, the number of dwellings had been reduced to 59 and the proposed development was confined to the northern end of the site on the rising ground opposite the nursery and the allotments.

Permission was refused by the Borough Council of Wellingborough’s Planning Committee on 5th August 2015.

Barwood lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in December 2015.

At the Planning Application Hearing on 1st June 2016, the Inspector decided that a full Inquiry was required and adjourned the Hearing.

However, changes in circumstances prompted the Inspectorate to hold a Hearing after all. The Hearing was held on 7th December 2016 in the Council Chamber at Swanspool.

The appeal was dismissed. The Inspector's decision was published on 3rd January 2017.

PLANNING APPLICATION NO.5 — reference number WP/15/00705/OUT

On 6th November 2015, the agents Lanchester Land & Planning Ltd lodged on behalf of Bowbridge Land Ltd an application for outline planning permission for a development consisting of up to 200 dwellings at Little Irchester.

The Borough Council of Wellingborough's Planning Committee refused this application at its meeting on 10th February 2016.

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More information

THE PAPERWORK

Applications for planning permission entail a great deal of paperwork, all of which is available for you to view online at the Borough Council of Wellingborough's Planning Applications website.

The Planning Applications website operates a search facility via which to access the paperwork for planning applications.

For instructions on how to find a given application and how to submit an objection letter, click here.

We provide STANDARD OBJECTION LETTERS which you can print to object to the Station Road proposal and the third Barwood application.

THE DEVELOPERS

Barwood Strategic Land LLP's website now (June 2015) gives a site plan of their third proposed development which is the subject of a third planning application for the Chester Road site.

The Station Road scheme is being handled by rg+p ltd, acting as agents for Acreage Strategic Limited, and details may be found at the rg+p ltd website. This site may also be viewed at the Bowbridge Land Ltd website.

The Little Irchester scheme is proposed on behalf of Bowbridge Land Ltd at whose website the outline plan may be viewed.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

Visit the website of the Irchester, Knuston and Little Irchester Neighbourhood Plan to see how this essential piece on the development chessboard is progressing.

THE PARISH COUNCIL

The Neighbourhood Plan is being prepared under the aegis of the Parish Council, whose website may be found here. The minutes of the Parish Council's meetings are very informative, and you can view them by pointing to the "COUNCIL" entry in their page's menubar and clicking "Minutes" from the list which then appears.

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