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Article from Herald & Post 2nd April 1998

Shop on corner of Kettering Road and Bakehouse Lane
Shop on corner of Kettering Road and Bakehouse Lane

The controversial plan which would see affordable housing built on Bakehouse Lane in Burton Latimer was given the go ahead at a Kettering Borough Council meeting last night.

Angry Burton residents surrounded councillors and the council’s chief executive at the end of the meeting following a decision, which they say is going through without proper consultation.

The origin of the row is in 1994 when Wilcon Homes got planning permission to build in Higham Road, some of which was to be affordable housing.

But last year, the borough council allowed Wilcon to waive its obligation in return for a donation of £120,000 to Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association for low cost housing on the Bakehouse Lane site.

The heat was turned up at a full council meeting last month when Burton Latimer councillor Christopher Groome claimed officers did not consult over these decisions.

He was echoing the protest made by the Bakehouse Lane Action Group.

This view was backed by the barrister consulted by the council who said planning agreements on the Bakehouse Lane site were not valid and so could not be taken into account at last night’s meeting.

Paul Walker, chief executive of the borough council, then apologised to councillors and interested parties.

Cllr Bryn Morgan, chair of the planning and transportation committee, said before last night’s meeting: “Although it has been shown that the agreements were not properly authorised, officers acted with the best of intentions, fully in line with council policy and government guidance.

“We now have the opportunity to rectify the situation, and hopefully, to enable the provision of affordable housing on a derelict site in Burton Latimer.”

The Bakehouse Lane site had been earmarked for homes for the elderly.

The Bakehouse Lane Action Group said after the meeting they would be taking legal advice.

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