Stanton Cross homes plan: Council could force land sale

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A Northamptonshire council is considering using its powers to force the sale of the final parcel of land needed to initiate a housing development.

Compulsory purchase powers could be used to secure land to access the 3,200 homes due to be built in the Stanton Cross development in Wellingborough.

The area near Eastfield Road is the final plot needed by Bovis Homes.

The council's resources committee recommended that the order be used.

Councillor Paul Bell, who chairs the resources committee and is also leader of the council, supported the idea of the council using its powers to force developers Wellmere Ltd to sell the land to Bovis Homes.

Mr Bell said: "I know we are not all happy about compulsory purchase orders but we have to get on. It will upset some people but it will open infrastructure up on Eastfield Road. Without the access this site won't develop."

Negotiations 'stalled'

Bovis Homes Ltd has already secured the land required for three other access points, having acquired land from Whitworths, the borough council and land owned by Network Rail.

According to the council, negotiations between Bovis Homes Ltd and Wellmere Ltd, the owner of the remaining access land, had stalled.

Alfred Buller, of Wellmere Ltd, said an agreement with Bovis was close to being made but the council recommended a compulsory order was put in place in case an agreement was not reached quickly.

Councillor Graham Lawman also welcomed the recommendation to use the order, saying that should the scheme not go ahead the town would be open to smaller developments around the countryside.

The council said the main access routes to the development site needed to be completed before work could begin.

Resident John Gardner, of Irthlingborough Grange, said he was pleased the development was one step closer.

He said: "We have been waiting for the houses for a long time - it's gone on too long, but this is only the beginning. They will have to look at the infrastructure next."

The scheme was given outline planning permission in 2006.

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