Former village commercial site to be demolished for new homes

Proposals to demolish a former commercial site and replace it with new homes have been unanimously supported by councillors.
An artist's impression of how the new homes will look.An artist's impression of how the new homes will look.
An artist's impression of how the new homes will look.

Kingston Real Estate had applied to Daventry District Council to redevelop the site at Lingles Farm on West Haddon Road in Ravensthorpe.

The site was originally in agricultural use, and latterly was used as a contractor’s yard and repair workshop, but the commercial buildings now on the site will be demolished and replaced by thirteen two and three-bed dwellings, including affordable housing and bungalows.

Councillors on the district council’s planning committee all voted in favour of the scheme when they met virtually on Wednesday September 23, despite objections from Ravensthorpe Parish Council.

A sketch in the planning papers outlines the site and where the new homes will go.A sketch in the planning papers outlines the site and where the new homes will go.
A sketch in the planning papers outlines the site and where the new homes will go.

The main bone of contention appeared to be that the site was technically outside the village confines, with a written statement from the parish council saying: “Recent applications for residential development outside the existing confines of the village have been refused and approval of this application would be inconsistent with previous decisions.

“The proposed plans provide inadequate off-road parking for the anticipated number of vehicles using the properties. The proposed number of properties will generate substantially more traffic to and from the site than the current use and the narrow exit onto West Haddon Road has inadequate visibility splays.

“Although there is some support for further affordable housing within the village, as demonstrated by the recent Housing Needs Survey, it is questionable whether this is sustainable in view of the lack of public transport serving Ravensthorpe.”

The proposed development will represent an increase of about five per cent on the existing village stock of some 250 households, according to the latest available figures from 2015.

The Housing Needs Survey was carried out during January and February 2020, with half of the respondents being residents wishing to downsize – with two bedroom homes being the most desired addition to the village.

Planning officers accepted the pros and cons of the scheme were ‘finely balanced’ but argued in favour of approval. A report read by councillors outlined: “The site is considered to be just beyond the village confines and therefore within the open countryside. In order to be supported in-principle it needs to be capable of meeting an identified local housing need. The findings of the 2020 Housing Needs Survey for Ravensthorpe support the proposal, particularly the proposed mix of houses and bungalows of varying sizes and tenures.”

Councillor Malcolm Longley, a member of the planning committee, said: “I have lived in the area for in excess of 25 years, and quite honestly I didn’t realise this place existed. I came to the meeting with a completely open mind but I’m minded to side with officers.”