HCA successfully appeals refusal of Northampton urban extension
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has successfully appealed refusal of its outline application for a 1,000-home sustainable urban extension on land south of Brackmills, Hardingstone which had been refused by Northampton Borough Council against the advice of its head of planning.
The agency had been actively promoting the site for residential development since 2005. It was allocated for housing under the adopted joint core strategy. The scheme included plans for a local centre, a two-form entry primary school, a medical centre, a pharmacy and infrastructure improvements as well as green infrastructure.
The appeal was recovered for determination by the Communities Secretary Greg Clark. The inspector who held the public inquiry recommended the appeal should be allowed and Clark agreed.
The Communities Secretary acknowledged that the proposals would inevitably involve a major change to the landscape and appearance of the area. He noted that the council was unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply in the Northampton Related Development Area. Clark also highlighted that the scheme would make a significant contribution to local affordable housing need (at 24 per cent).
Overall, Clark concluded that the proposal represented a sustainable form of development which would accord with the development plan and the National Planning Policy Framework. He insisted that the adverse effects would not outweigh the benefits.