There are many detailed points below, including policy references to evidence the reason for objections related to your streets. Remember in your letter to include the council planning reference number and to state that you OBJECT to the planning proposal, otherwise your letter won’t be counted. You can use our template to help you to compose your letter (link).
Updated Proposal Objections (November 2021)
Ilke homes updated consultation documents do not meet key material objections already raised. Further objections are made below.
Construction Access and Abnormally Wide Loads through Higham Ferrers, The proposed New Right Hand Turn in Prospect Avenue, Proposed Road Widening of Northampton Rd/Higham Rd, Hayway/Higham Rd and Prospect Avenue Site Access (Eight abnormal loads per week for 4 years, construction vehicles and increased traffic!)
Whilst some tweaks have been made to the design of the development, previous material objections are still relevant and further objections are now being raised because of the detrimental impact to a set of residential streets. The only logical and safe access is from John Clark Way. (Indeed the owner of the land between John Clark Way and the Development in their planning application documentation (NE_21_00518_OUT-PLANNING_STATEMENT-496278.pdf) states that they would work with Ilke Homes and The Co-OP to give access to the development from John Clark Way and that this would be an “Opportunity”. They say they could deliver an access road with capacity to serve the development and are eager to work with Ilke Homes.)
What is missing from Ilke Homes drawing, is that the proposed bus shelters dont fit on the footpath, to leave sufficent clearance for pedestrians to walk past them. Nor do Ilke indicate the further FOUR street trees that would need to be rmoved. We have taken Ilke’s proposal and reproduced a more accurate version of it, which can be seen below
Further material objections to the application include;
- A right-hand turn lane for north bound traffic on Higham Rd into Prospect Avenue will require road widening that would mean the loss of very old and established street trees that give Rushden and Higham Ferrers real character and a welcoming feel. A biodiversity loss that would be very sad for the area. The trees at the top of Higham Hill are now suggested as being removed to allow road widening.
- New bus stop and road widening will likely mean a significant impact to Houses on Higham Rd. Impact of new bus stop to No 112, 114, 116, 118, 120. Especially on the brow of a hill and with driveways coming out and the junction and turning traffic into Prospect Avenue. Impact to No 105, 107, 109.
- biodiversity. Can we let this happen when the air pollution is in this area? How will they arrange for the clean air to be transported back here? Just ticking boxes here! No care and attention for the people of Rushden and Higham Ferrers.
- It would mean street furniture would have to be moved across from the shop on Higham Hill.
- This turn is not what Highways would advocate on such a busy road and cars exiting from Prospect Avenue would be taking significant risks for a right turn as they would not easily see cars coming behind the queuing cars.
- Ilke say that they have undertaken a Stage 1 Road Safety Audit in respect of the site access from Prospect Avenue and at the junctions, but this is a poor approach when this is only a basic level analysis.
- No new refuge point has been suggested to allow people to cross this proposed wide expanse of road with an extra turning lane.
- No mention has been made of the loss of parking that would impact current residents as a result of road widening.
- The proposal also fails to mention the brow of the hill which would make any bus stop moves very dangerous for pedestrians and cars. Cars overtaking a bus on the brow of the hill would not be able to see oncoming traffic.
- A bus stop move which is likely required will mean greater walks for any people from the new development. Moving bus stops further away from those in need from the development and out with recommended walking distance. The maximum distance from a bus stop is meant to be 450m but this would be 600m+.
- No analysis has been undertaken and no engagement with people on Higham Road has been undertaken for these changes.
- The road widening proposed has already flagged up issues and is against the transport plan. Significant costs are proposed to widen road already crammed with traffic. (Access could be from John Clark Way, so not impact to this extent.)
- There is no mention of a swept path analysis of how they will get the construction vehicles to site. What they have mentioned will negatively impact Higham Ferrers and Rushden residents. This proposed construction vehicle access route will put children, pedestrians and car owners at risk and does not seem logical or safe.
- School children on their way to The Ferrers school and traffic coming and going to the school will be put in danger as the abnormal loads are moved during the day. The 5-Meter-wide loads will overhang pedestrian paths or completely block the two way roads as they try to traverse up the middle.
- It is not possible to get wide loads of 5 meters plus through these streets there is just not enough space with cars coming and going.
- Trees on Higham Main Street across from the Co-Op will be destroyed unless the abnormal loads travel down the middle of the road. Causing roads to be blocked. (This will happen along the main road from the roundabout to the site as well. (More chaos to add to ongoing roadworks at Chowns Mill roundabout.)
- Car parking bans will be introduced for multiple streets for multiple years for this to go ahead which is illogical when they could gain access from John Clark Way.
- Taking abnormal loads through Higham High Street on such a frequent basis past parked cars and past Chicheley College will put these buildings at risk.
- Constant large trucks going by school children and through narrow streets with parked cars will be a significant safety issue.
- No engagement with residents has been had with regard to these construction access routes or road widening schemes.
- The technical issues that have been raised by residents and Highways have not been resolved. They admit this in their own justification paper ‘technical maters are being discussed with and liaised with Highways’ they just do not say they are resolved.
- They have not considered queuing traffic at the junction of Queensway from The Ferrers school and how this will be impacted by abnormal loads and construction vehicles.
- Bringing more traffic around Queensway will increases congestion and air pollution. Already the worst area in East Northants for this and flagged up by the Rushden Traffic Survey (2014), this should be avoided. Especially as many children are walking to school here
- Ilke admit they are loosing biodiversity on the development site itself but have no plans to address this. Just provide a payoff. Just Section 106 for everything. They don’t want to address any issues. Just impact our neighborhoods and pay some other area for green space and
Original Proposal Objections (April 2021)
The types of things that have been highlighted as material objections for your streets include:
- Increased traffic queues; as an extra 330 cars, service vehicles and trades people will be using your roads multiple times a day and vehicles turning into Prospect Avenue/Tollbar/ Queensway will cause further bottlenecking on your roads. There are risks associated with this, in terms of accidents, congestion and pollution. The Rushden Traffic Survey (2014) advises against plans that make these recognised problems worse, especially at the Washbrook Road signal point.
- All previous planning policies state John Clarke Way as the access point, which should be adhered to or the development stopped (i.e. East Northamptonshire District Local Plan 1996 – Rushden Strategy Statement Policy RU3 (page 140); and Three Towns Plan (ENC), 2011)
- The environmental impact is massive and impacts protected wildlife species, but some things could be done to reduce the impact and there are already local policies which recommend things like wildlife shelter belts.
- The new estate is proposed to be 100% social housing and very dense. These kinds of estates have been associated with higher crime rates and Central Government recommends a mix of housing now.
- There is a lack of footpaths on and into the estate, which disadvantages children, older people and the disabled and level of density of building is bad for physical and mental health.
For more detailed material objections to include, see the sections in ‘News: Material Objections’ labelled ‘Highway Safety’, ‘Environment and Biodiversity’, ‘Children’ and ‘Safety and Crime’ (link). You can download the template letter to insert your objections using link above.