Homes plan thrown out

Proposals to build 55 new homes on green fields on the edge of Woodford Halse have been dismissed by Daventry District Council.

Residents living near the site, off Farndon Road on the southern edge of the village, reacted with delight as councillors over-ruled planning officers’ advice to refuse permission at a meeting on Wednesday last week.

David Campion is one of a group of residents opposed to the plans. He said: “This was round one I guess, and we are very glad some of the councillors saw sense and decided to vote against it.

“But the way the meeting was conducted wasn’t how I expected at all – I might be a bit naive.

“When it became fairly clear that some councillors were going to say this development wasn’t right, the chairman and officers on the top table proceeded then, in my opinion, to brow beat the other councillors to vote in favour of the scheme on the grounds that if they didn’t then for sure the proposers would go to appeal and if they won the council would be saddled with costs.

“As far as I was concerned, the councillors who were raising questions about the homes and voting against it were the ones that had read all the reports.

“For example, the highways department had estimated the number of cars coming and going from the new homes, as traffic was a concern. They had X-number leaving in the morning, but fewer returning in the night.

“This site only has housing built along one side of it now, as it’s on the edge of the village. The argument the developers seemed to be following was that in other places housing had been allowed if there was already neighbouring development. But in those cases that had been on two or three sides. As someone at the meeting said, if you allow development on land just because there’s houses along one side already, you might as well declare open season.”

The homes were also opposed by Weedon-cum-Membris and Byfield parish councils, who raised questions about flooding, school and doctor places and traffic levels.

At the meeting councillors voted against the plans and against officers’ advice to approve them, saying the 55 new homes were outside the village confines and in open countryside, and was therefore against the council’s own policies.