Group protests over plans for housing on Desborough’s nature-rich Ise Valley

The protesters at the wildlife walk
The protesters at the wildlife walk

A group of protesters held a walk across Desborough’s Ise Valley over the weekend to show their frustration over an application for the building of more than 300 houses in the town.

The LADS group (Land at Desborough South) held the wildlife walk ahead of the beginning of the public consulation on the neighbourhood plan, which starts today (Monday) for a six-week period.

An overwhelming 97 per cent of responses at the first consultation stage vented their disapproval of the plans.

A LADS spokesman said: “Desborough residents are shell-shocked at the unusual joint venture between Kettering Council and the Central Co-Operative which has submitted controversial plans to build 304 houses in the nature-rich Ise Valley.

“The objections unanimously point to the fact Desborough already has enough land allocated for development to meet its 15-year housing requirement with sufficient sites available to meet the town’s housing requirements until 2031.

“This allocated land also has the right infrastructure, specifically for the predicted increase in vehicle movements, to accommodate this future growth of the town.

“Development of the Ise Valley has been kept off limits as it continues to be recognised in borough and county planning documents as providing essential green infrastructure.

“Recently the land was audited to be formally designated as historically and visually important but conveniently fell one point short.

“Northamptonshire has one of the lowest biodiversity indexes in England but the Ise Valley bucks the trend with abundant wildlife and provides much needed tranquil open space for the enjoyment, health and well-being of Desborough and Rothwell communities.

“This outline planning application will be determined in April and follows another planning application submitted for 147 houses in the Ise Valley, consultations for a further 100 houses to the east of Desborough and an initial consultation for a further 275 properties to the north-west of the town.”