July 2017
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Nimby:

I’m a nimby. So sue me.

Less than a mile from where I live, there’s a greenfield site. It’s mainly used at the minute as farmland, but for the past few years, some developers have been trying to get planning approval to build more than a 1000 houses there.

The land is on the edge of Northampton, so the houses would, to all intents and purposes be in Northampton, but because of the vagaries of council boundaries, the decision actually lies with Daventry District Council, despite the land being 15 miles away from Daventry.

It took four years for the plans to come before the Daventry Planning Committee.

In that time, Northampton Borough Council expressed their opposition. Daventry District Council expressed their opposition. The MPs for Northampton North and for Daventry both expressed their opposition.

The planning meeting was attended by hundreds of members of the public, and the application was rejected by 9 to 2 votes on the basis that development there shouldn’t be allowed until a bypass was built.

2 months later, and following the publication of the draft Planning Review proposed by Eric Pickles, the developers are resubmitting the application, because they think the Planning Committee should have the chance to re-examine it in the light of the new guidance. Specfically, that there should be a presumption of ‘Yes’ in all planning applications for sustainable developments.

Now, I was at that planning meeting, and I commented at the time that, when the spokesman for the developer delivered his piece, this was his only argument. “You should approve this application because government guidance says there should be a presumption of Yes”. However, they are now claiming that this is new guidance that wasn’t previously considered.

People are speculating that Daventry District Council is running scared from the developers. Personally, bearing in mind the opprobrium that the Tory faithful are heaping on Pickles, I suspect the developers feel they have a 6 month window to bulldoze this through before the Planning Reforms get overhauled.

So yeah – I’m a nimby. I’m pissed off that a decision on housing in Northampton, that Northampton doesn’t want, is down to Councillors in a town 15 miles away. I’m pissed off that the developers feel they have a divine right to develop the land, regardless of the wishes of the Borough Council, and I’m pissed off that our idiotic Tory-led Coalition Government is responsible for giving this impression to the developers.

But I’m anything but surprised.

2 comments to Nimby:

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