It would appear that as I predicted the Borough Conservative group have now moved away from the promise to oppose large-scale housing developments on the green field boundaries of Northampton in favour of a ‘if the infrastructure is promised’ – note promised not delivered’ policy.
The change of position regarding Buckton Fields will now be interpreted by developers as being policy that will open the way to the developments in Wootton, Collingtree and Hunsbury because of course developers will promise to deliver the infrastructure.
Of course the problem is that the delivery of the infrastructure may take a number of years as was seen in the Grange Park development and all of the problems it brought with it which led to concerns and the formulation of a policy to oppose developments if the infrastructure was not in place.
In fact the Borough Conservatives were very clear at the last election, ‘no homes before infrastructure’, unfortunately Cllr Hallam in stating that the policy is now to only seek promises demonstrates that this is no longer policy, and this is not just a meaningless statement from a back bench Councillor but the Chief Whip pf the Borough Group and close friend and confident of the Leader Cllr Mackintosh
The argument that they don’t expect the infrastructure to be put in place so the development won’t go ahead is of course a red herring.
I predict that the County Council will sell the land at Buckton Fields for development before the roads have been completed, but it won’t be until after May 2013.
I have been accused of not understanding the dynamics between the County and Borough, unfortunately I understand it only too well and only time will tell whether my prediction is right.
In the meantime those who berated the Daventry Planning Committee Councillors who were only following legal advice on planning matters should apologise to them and instead concentrate on those who have moved away from their declared policy which puts green field sites under greater threat.