The Ise Valley development
The original application for Outline Planning permission for ‘Desborough South’ was submitted on the 19th January 2016. See https://www.kettering.gov.uk/planningApplication/122648
This proposal was refused on the 18th May 2016.
It was due to go to appeal in July 2016 but the appeal was cancelled ‘The hearing arranged for 19 July 2017 has been cancelled because the appointed Inspector has reviewed the evidence submitted and deemed that a Public Inquiry will be required’.
The matter went a public hearing on the 31 October, 1 November & 4 December 2017. The inspectors decision (21 pages) can be seen at-
The first thing to note is that Outline Planning permission for ‘Desborough South’ was approved by a Government Inspector before ten of the previous eleven Councillors and all of the current members were on the Desborough Town Council.
The only exception was the winner of the Loatland Ward by election on the 16th November 2017 who would have taken his seat on the Council between the date of the Public Inquiry and the publication of the Inspectors decision (22nd December 2017).
The Government Appointed Inspector
So, in all fairness our Borough Councillors did their job, they listened to local people put the case to the Borough Council Officers and the original plan was refused. The notice of refusal can be seen at – https://www.kettering.gov.uk/planx_downloads/0044.2016.KET.DN.pdf
It was then taken out of their hands when it went to appeal and the Government appointed inspector presided over a Public Enquiry held on 3 days in October, November and December 2017.
The Inspectors decision is contained in a letter dated 22-12-2017 (see above). In that letter (Point 22) reference is made to the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan.
‘local people should argue there are better sites available. However the housing sites argument seems to be going round in circles at the moment, until the sites around Desborough have been subject to more scrutiny it is difficult to say whether DE/210 will be needed or not. The Neighbourhood Plan and the Part 2 Local Plan both attract little weight due to the uncertainties that surround them, but the Neighbourhood Plan is a clear indication of the strength of local feeling, which was also obvious at the Inquiry. Nevertheless, up until the issue of the latest version of the Neighbourhood Plan, the site has always been in contention for housing development and has been favoured by the Council’s officers’.
The Planning Inspectors decision was made with full knowledge of the content of the Draft Neighbourhood Plan (published in October 2017) and, in respect of the Ise Valley development , the Neighbourhood Plan was, in effect, overtaken by events before the Town Council had completed the process.
In short, The Conservative controlled Town Council spent over £40,000 on producing a document that proved to be no help whatsoever in protecting the Ise Valley.
For the record The Conservatives were in control of Desborough Town Council from 2003 to 2018 and Independents for Desborough were in control from 2018 to 2021. During much of the period when the Neighbourhood Plan was being written and a draft copy published (2015 to 2018) there were no Labour Councillors.