Redhill Grange Community Association

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July 2009

News Letters

Bringing you up to speed:

A lot has happened since we issued our last Newsletter in December 2008 so, before we get onto the Upper Redhill Public Inquiry, letís do a bit of catching up.

Planning Guidance for Upper Redhill Sustainable Urban Extension Guidance Document:

This is the document where the BCoW officers advised their opinion that:-

"Redhill Grange is currently a distinct residential area north of Northern Way, which has few community facilities and is relatively poorly connected to the remainder of the town." And

"The area to the east of the A509 has been included so that there are opportunities for integrating the Redhill Grange estate into the town."

In spite of the Association speaking against this flawed document at several meetings of the Development Committee and despite of the grave concerns of the Councillors, who made numerous changes and tried to introduce others, it was reluctantly approved by the Committee on 7th January 2009. This was largely on the advice of the Legal Services Manager and on the insistence of the Planning Policy Manager, who stated that BCoW would be in a worse situation without the guidance.

The Association again spoke against the document at the meeting of the Full Council on 27th January 2009 but it was finally approved by the Councillors.

Note: It will be seen from the report on the Upper Redhill Public Inquiry below, that the appellants used the argument that the Upper Redhill planning application was in line with this document as one of the reasons that the appeal should be allowed.

Upper Redhill Planning Application WP/2007/0750:

The application was considered at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Borough Council of Wellingborough on 4th February 2009. In a report submitted to the Council for the meeting, the Deputy Chief Executive recommended the granting of outline planning permission, subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement and Planning Conditions.

On behalf of the applicant, Professor David Lock gave a presentation detailing what was proposed, itís phasing and what it would consist of.

On behalf of the Council, case officer Ola Duyile made reference to slight amendments to the Deputy Chief Executiveís report and the appendices.

Fifteen speakers had opted to make representations to the Council and these were heard in turn, twelve put forward objections to the application.

This was followed by a debate on the issues by the Councillors and then further input from Professor Lock and from officers of the Council, Northamptonshire County Council and North Northants Joint Planning Unit.

The recommendation to grant outline planning permission was then put to the vote and was declared lost with 18 votes against and 7 votes in favour.

The Councillors put forward many reasons for their decision but, for legal purposes, they were recorded as:-

1 Lack of certainty over the delivery of infrastructure, namely the IWImp, in order to deliver a comprehensive development.
2 Inconsistency with Policy 7 of the Core Spatial Strategy regarding the phasing of development for the growth of the town
3 Lack of clear boundaries and a gap between the devel- opment and other settlements causing coalesance con- trary to national and regional guidance.
4 The absence of a planning obligation to secure comm- unity benefits and provide the necessary infrastructure to mitigate the adverse impacts of the development, i.e. proposal is contrary to Policy 6 of the North Northamp- tonshire Core Spatial Strategy.

Upper Redhill Planning Duplicate Identical Application WP/2008/0150:

In January 2009, Northants LLP appealed against the BCoW's non-determination of their duplicate identical Upper Redhill planning application, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government decided that the appeal would be decided by a Public Inquiry.

Upper Redhill Public Inquiry:

Note: Although the appeal was against the non-determination of the second duplicate planning application, the reasons for the rejection of the first application, known as putative reasons, were considered by the Inquiry.

The Public Inquiry ran from 2nd June and sat for nine days, concluding for all practicable purposes, on the 18th June 2009. The Inspector was Michael Ellison MA (Oxon) from the Planning Inspectorate.

Appearing for the appellants, Northants LLP, was Martin Kingston QC and appearing for the Borough Council was Anthony Crean QC; both QCís are from the Planning Law Group of No5 Chambers, with Mr Kingston being the Head of the Group.

The witness appearing for the appellants was Professor David Lock of David Lock Associates, with witnesses James Williams and Nigel Durman, both from Drivas Jonas, appearing for the Borough Council.

Mr Crean initially stated that the Council would not be offering any evidence to support the third reason for the rejection of the application, i.e. the lack of clear boundaries and a gap between the development and other settlements causing coalescence. He then argued that:-
There was no prospect of the IWImp being established in the time limit that would be imposed by the permis- sion, quoting the lack of funding as the reason
The proposals are in conflict with the development plan and would have a significant detrimental impact on the delivery of WEAST
A realistic planning obligation cannot be entered into so as to allow the early delivery of the scheme
The appellants want to take advantage from the need for housing but delay the delivery of that housing to allow the market to recover
A S106 Agreement was not produced in advance of the Inquiry
The development was not viable in the current market conditions

Mr Kingston argued that the appeal should be allowed on the basis that the first Planning Application had been supported by:
North Northamptonshire Development Company
North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit
Deputy Chief Executive of the Borough Council of Wellingborough
Northamptonshire County Council

Mr Kingston also pointed out that:-
There were no objections from any statutory consultee
BCoW were partners in both the NNDC and the NNJPU
The planning application was in line with the Wellingbor- ough North Sustainable Urban Extension Guidance document, which had been approved by the Full Council in January 2009
The planning application was in line with the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Sub Regional Strategy, the Regional Spatial Strategy and the NNJPU Core Spatial Strategy

Mr Kingston also argued that the application would add a much needed 3,000 houses the Borough Councilís five year rolling Housing Trajectory, which had been seriously disadvantaged by the failure of the WEAST/Stanton Cross developments to deliver the required number of houses.

In their submissions and in their cross examination, the witness covered the:-

Interpretation of the wording of the Core Spatial Strategy
Likelihood of the Isham to Wellingborough extension of the Isham bypass being delivered in the lifetime of the application
Viability of the Upper Redhill planning application in the current economic climate
Viability of developing both WEAST/Stanton Cross and Upper Redhill concurrently

Submissions by third party speakers fell into four categories:-

Residents from Redhill Grange, Furnace Lane and Great Harrowden, who spoke about the undesirability of the development as proposed for the area
Borough Councillors who argued that it was right to reject the application
The Reverend Pareira†of Gleneagles, who asked for a Christian place of worship/social centre to be included in the development
Richard Bowden of Bowden Land, for the WEAST landowners, who argued that the development should not be approved until Wellingborough East had been successfully established

After the closing submissions by the QCs, both submitted requests for costs.

As discussions were still ongoing between the parties on the content of the Planning Conditions and Section 106 Agreement, the Inspector adjourned the Inquiry and has allowed a further 4 weeks for these discussions to take place. He hopes to be able to formally close the Inquiry in writing on 16th July 2009 without a further sitting.

After the adjournment, the Inspector invited those people who had presented submissions to the Inquiry to join him on a visit to all the locations that had been mentions during the inquiry.†The visit took in twenty five locations, including the woodland to the West of Redhill Grange between Kettering Road and the A509 and Redhill Grange itself, with particular reference to the stub ends of Redhill Way and The Banks and the proximity of the Finedon Road industrial estate.

Mr Ellison is now to write a report for consideration by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who will make the final decision.

Annual Revenue Grant:
For the second year running, the Association has been pleased to have received a grant of £500 from the Borough Council of Wellingborough.†The money, among other things, will be used to pay for the running of the Association's web site and printing costs. A statement of accounts will be presented to residents for approval at the Association's AGM in November.

County Council Elections Ė Thursday 4th June 2009:
The County Council elections saw Bhupendra (Bob) Patel, who is one of the three Hemmingwell Ward Councillors on the Borough Council of Wellingborough, elected to be the Hemmingwell Ward Councillor on Northamptonshire County Council.

Bob replaces County Councillor James Ashton, who decided not to stand, and we should not let this moment pass without recording the Associationís thanks to James for the help and support that he has given to Redhill Grange over the years.

It was James who organised the meeting of residents that set up the various action groups that took part in the County Councilís Wider Area Reference Group consultations on the route of the Isham to Wellingborough extension of the Isham bypass and it was James who first alerted us to Bee Bee Developmentsí plans for the area and of the consultation process that resulted in the Core Spatial Strategy.

The Association therefore says goodbye to James as our County Councillor with grateful thanks and we wish him and his wife Ann all the very best for the future.

If you have a problem and donít know who to contact:

Road, Pavement and Street Lighting issues
Call NCC Street Doctor
Tel: 0845 601 1113

County Council issues
Contact County Councillor Bhupendra (Bob) Patel
Tel: 01933 673887
Surgery Ė First Saturday of the month 11:00 to 12:00 at the Hemmingwell Community House, 153 Fulmar Lane, Wellingborough, NN8 4AY

Borough Council issues
Our three councillors are Bhupendra (Bob) Patel, Malcolm Waters and Graham Lawman. The best one to contact is Councillor Lawman, who lives locally.
Tel: 01933 679221
Surgery Ė as County Councillor Patel


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