Green light for 800 brownfield homes

A scheme to build 800 new homes on a Northampton brownfield site has been given the green light by the local planning authority.

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) claims the plans will transform the run-down Ransome Road site, situated near Northampton town centre.

Development on the site, which will include community facilities alongside the homes, is anticipated to eventually link with the development of neighbouring land at a former power station and Avon Cosmetics factory as part of wider regeneration plans for Northampton town centre.

The decision to allow the scheme - led by the Homes and Communities Agency - followed WNDC's confirmation in August of a £2.3 million investment for vital transport improvements around the brownfield site.

WNDC chief executive, Peter Mawson, said: "The Ransome Road scheme is an important part of a wider plan for the revival of Northampton town centre.

"It is a very complex project and a lot of work is required to make this brownfield land suitable for development. Using our investment and development powers, we are working with the Homes and Communities Agency, as well as the local authorities, to breathe new life into this part of the town."

Started in summer 2006, the development of Ransome Road is part of Northampton's ongoing Brownfield Initiative: a long-running, multi-million pound programme to bring Northampton's derelict land back into use.

The brownfield site comprises 23 hectares of largely disused land which previously incorporated a mix of industrial uses, including landfill and a breakers yard.

Anthony Sowden of the Homes and Communities Agency, which acquired the land for development, said that the WNDC's decision meant progress could now be made towards securing a developer for the project. He added: "This project represents a major element of the plan to support Northampton's growth ambitions."

Sam Plester



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