About Us.

Welcome to ‘RespectMyStreet.com’. This website has been developed by a group of residents in response to concerns raised about a proposed local development (known as the Shirley Road Development by Ilke Homes) which threatens to impact the quality of life of many people around Rushden. We also hope that it will empower people towards stating their objections to some of the other building projects going on in the town.

Some key concerns and the history of this area can be seen further down this page. Overall, this website provides guidance on how to object to a planning proposal, gives a sample letter that you can fill in and provides lots of material objections that you can include. And it’s all done street by street, to be of direct relevance to you.

This website is not about NIMBYism or stopping homes from being built. It is about helping people to raise objections so that everyone has a voice. This is not what was voted for in the Rushden Plan of 2018; But it is the most profitable use of the land for the developer, who will build short-life pre-fab houses, sell, and then, with no ongoing responsibility, leave the town to live with and pay for the upkeep of the development. It is up to residents to highlight their objections to the town and district/ unitary councils, so they can overturn the application and advise the developers about what would be acceptable to our town.

We Need YOU to help to limit the damage done to your town and health, by developers who build and sell, making quick money whilst we live with the costs to our health, quality of life and upkeep of poor quality development.

  1. Read below to find out what this is ‘About’.
  2. Download or draft the objection letterto the council.
  3. Use the street page objections that we have outlined, the more detailed objections that we have listed, or add your own – see  Our Streets.
  4. Or email North Northants Council or put comments on the planning page.
  5. For letters and emails, USE THE REFERENCE NUMBER NE/21/00498/FUL. If the reference number isn’t stated then your objections won’t count.
  6. Finally, let others know about this and ‘Contact Us’ if we can help in any way.

Rushden needs homes, but estates should be considerate of the local populations needs, providing affordable family homes, with appropriate access routes for vehicles and schools. Given the life-shortening consequences of air pollution, obesity and lack of space (all now highlighted by covid), it is important that we ask developers and councils to respect our streets – to respect us, our children and the ecology that helps us to stay healthy.

For more details about Ilke Homes development go to shirleyroad.com

Please write your objection and if you need any help or have questions or points to raise then be in contact at  repectmystreet@gmail.com

There is additional information about ‘how to write an objection letter’ in the section called ‘how to write an objection letter’ on this website.

Key Worries

All previous policies and plans have stated that access to this development should be from John Clark Way. Access is however being proposed via Prospect Avenue, disregarding resident’s welfare, logical traffic flow, biodiversity and council policy. The impact that this will have on people’s quality of life is immense – not just those living near the junction but also those living in surrounding streets as it will bring about traffic congestion and air pollution all around the Higham Road route with 330 extra cars, service vehicles and the ‘wide load’ lorries bringing pre-fab homes en route for up to four years. It will also be an expense for the locals as the drainage and road damage for this site will be ongoing.  The picture painted on the Ilke Homes website is not entirely true, with eco-surveys being carried out after land has been cleared (and still they admit that even this remnant will be further damaged); traffic surveys being carried out on a lockdown evening during an amber weather alert; and an enclosed alley replacing the spacious footpath that they fenced off.

100% social housing, this estate will not prioritise many people from Rushden or Higham. Taking a rare Greenfield site from so close to the town centre cuts away at the lungs of the town and in these times we need good lungs more than ever. Co-op will sell the land to Ilke homes when/ if planning permission is granted and Ilke plan to sell the estate to a housing association upon completion. There is no responsibility about the long term impact of the development by those proposing it’s construction. These are prefabricated buildings, with a proven life of 25 years (with only two building societies willing to mortgage them), densely packed, with no children’s play areas, very limited accessibility for the elderly and disabled and huge damage to local biodiversity. It provides housing, but at what cost? And it is discriminatory that ‘affordable’ housing should be built so densely that there isn’t even room for footpaths or play areas and with a demographic mix that has been associated with crime rates that have led to the government recommending that no further 100% social housing estates are built. This is not an estate people would want or be able to ‘buy’ into. And yet it is deemed appropriate for the most vulnerable in society.

History of the Area

Local residents have been very active in this area. In 1992, the dismantled railway line was proposed to be infilled for the warehouse development, now in John Clark Way. Residents from surrounding streets volunteered to upkeep the site and it became one of the first and a highly awarded ‘Pocket Park’, saving the land and ecology from being buried.

In 1996, the ‘Shirley Road Site’ was proposed for development, as a low density industrial area (East Northamptonshire District Local Plan 1996 Rushden Strategy Statement), with access from the new bypass. In fact, when it was first agreed the bypass didn’t exist, so the plan stated that as access should only be considered from this route, no building could commence until the bypass was built. After the current warehouses were built the land use was changed to residential and in 2008 plans were put forward for an 85 house estate with green buffer zones, play areas and access via John Clark Way. Even the longest serving residents agreed to this at consultation. Strangely however, the plans have been deleted from council records.

After almost twenty years of the Pocket Park, the lease was handed over to the ‘Greenway’ and the ‘Railway’. Much biodiversity was lost at this point, including rare species of birds and butterflies and this was compounded by the building of the warehouses on the fields behind. Many species however remained in the fallow fields of the ‘Shirley Road site’ and they were untouched apart from by walkers for sixty years, until the Co-op (owners) mulched everything on 10th February 2020 and again in September and November. The animals, by then fenced in, had no escape route. The birds and bats were displaced. The clay soil could no longer be infiltrated and homes in Peck Way were flooded in December 2020 as the run off formed a river across the fields. A resident’s survey since then has highlighted rare and protected species that existed on this site (see Ecology section).

Our Voice

This website has been created to give residents a voice.

We need to be clear with local councils that developers need to respect our streets. These plans include concerning elements, such as how the site is to be accessed and managed; absence of play-areas; and lack of footpaths. The pre-application process has included representatives of the Greenway and the old railway at every meeting with the developers, but has been not included local residents, who will be most affected. To date (6th May), NNC have placed signage about this development on the Greenway and Shirley Road, but no signage or letters about the development have been placed or sent to Prospect Avenue, even though demolition of buildings and trees will take place here, the street will be above capacity as a feeder road, our homes will be subject to pollution of dust containing asbestos and arsenic, new houses and alleys will abut our gardens and we will lose on-street parking. We have been given a few weeks to get objections in (by 21st May), after a the council and developers have had a lengthy (>1year) pre-planning process. In a matter of days there will be planning meetings where indoor restrictions have been cited as reasons for excluding residents from viewing or being represented at meetings, with all other parties included. No zoom option has been offered so far.

We need people to object to the development and also to this process. Enough traffic chaos, pollution and councils sacrificing the public for the sake of developers. Help us to set a precedent to reduce congestion and pollution and to hear the residents of this town. Help us to ‘Respect our Streets’.