Revised wishlist for town growth growth

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FEWER homes for the town, but extra facilities like a new swimming pool and health centre, are on the cards.

The latest version of the ‘joint core strategy’ (JCS) for the district was unveiled on Tuesday.

The JCS sets out how Daventry district, Northampton borough and South Northants councils want their areas to develop in the years up to 2026.

The total number of homes planned for Daventry is set to reduce by around 500 to 3,900 still to build – mostly planned for the ‘sustainable urban extension’ on the Churchfields site south east of the Country Park.

The plan also shows an expected need for around 1,400 new homes in villages across the Daventry district. The largest of villages can expect to grow by up to 12 per cent of their current housing numbers, while the smallest hamlets will only get affordable homes needed by the existing community.

DDC leader Chris Millar said: “The reason for reducing the number of homes is down to the market conditions and the fact the whole house building industry is behind where we thought it would be when the plans were originally drawn up.”

The JCS sits at the top of a hierarchy of planning documents, including DDC’s masterplan for the town, and village planning documents.

The revised document also includes a ‘wish list’ needed as the town grows.

Key things include a new four-lane 25-metre swimming pool, a new sports hall and outdoor artificial pitches, new primary and secondary schools, a new health centre and expansions to parks.

It also says transport needs improving, from upgrades to Long Buckby train station, restructuring the town’s bus station, and working on the A45.

Cllr Kay Driver, DDC’s strategic planning portfolio holder, said: “They important thing is that we need a plan like this.

“Without it we are at the mercy of speculative developers who can put in applications for sites we might not think of as suitable, but we cannot fight as we don’t have the document in place.

“What we have done is said what we think is a good idea. Officers then went away and spoke to the public and councils about it, made changes, and this is where we are now.

“People can have their say again before the final document is drawn up.

“The list of infrastructure is not a stick to beat developers with. It is what the expanding town and district will need in detail.”