Developers win appeal to build 300 homes on Desborough’s Ise Valley

Campaigners on a previous walk highlighting the area's beauty. NNL-180301-114131005
Campaigners on a previous walk highlighting the area's beauty. NNL-180301-114131005

A rejected bid to build 304 houses on nature-rich land in Desborough has been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.

The Central England Co-op’s attempt to create the development on land south of the town, between Rothwell Road and Sycamore Drive, was turned down by Kettering councillors in May 2016.

Councillors said the development would fail to preserve the natural beauty of the area and the character of the landscape, but the developers appealed.

After a three-day hearing, inspector Simon Hand granted planning permission for the development.

Town campaigner Kevin O’Brien said the development would be ‘unnecessary destruction’.

He said: “There is no positive side to this.

“It is unnecessary destruction and as is well known, Desborough’s infrastructure cannot support a further 304 families.

“The schools, the surgery, are at full capacity.

“The library is likely to be lost.

“It is well documented by Heather Smith at Northants County Council that central government do not support the countywide population, yet, we continue to have dwellings built on the outskirts of towns that cannot support more people, resulting in cutbacks rather than investment.”

Several walks to highlight the Ise Valley’s beauty were held and Mr O’Brien thanked everyone who helped campaign against the development.

He said: “Thank you so much to all of those in years, months and weeks gone by that challenged and opposed the development of the Ise Valley.

“All those that wrote in, attended the walks and public inquiry and spoke passionately, including residents and councillors, about what the Ise Valley means, and have campaigned with their hearts and minds, thank you.”

The Planning Inspectorate’s report said: “Although there will be minor harms to the landscape and the quality of public access to the Ise Valley these are offset by improvements to the built edge of Desborough, provision of walking and cycling along the edge of the proposal and better public open space.”