Despite residents’ continuing concerns about Banner Homes’ flood risk assessment and the effectiveness of its sewerage arrangements, the company has been given the go-ahead by South Northamptonshire Council, Thames Water and the
Environment Agency and now plans to start work on the Banbury Lane site tomorrow, Monday February 18. Paul McCann, group planning director at Banner Homes Group, has confirmed the company’s groundworks contractor will start digging a footing for the garage on Plot 1 in the morning. “We will then get it inspected and signed off by the NHBC on Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning,” adds Mr McCann. “As soon as it is inspected by the NHBC we will be concreting the footing. This will constitute a material start in accordance with S56 of the Planning Act. The programme after that is yet to be finalised but having made a material start, and having cleared all the pre-development planning conditions, the permission will remain extant until development continues.”
Banner has agreed to inform the parish council about its programme for the main development in due course. The company has also said that clearance work to the ditch by Cannings Garage will not commence immediately. Since Natural England guidelines advise against trimming hedgerows during the main bird nesting season – between March 1 and July 31 – work on the main development is unlikely to start until August unless Banner does the work before the end of February.
Banbury Lane resident Ian Shirley says many people in the village are upset that Thames Water and the Environment Agency have nodded through Banner Homes’ application, apparently without any alteration to its flawed design. “It’s very disappointing,” he says, “that even in the light of obvious failings in the foul water drainage design, both Thames Water and the Environment Agency have passed these proposals. A number of residents have enlisted the services of a solicitor to pursue compensation under the law of Tort in the event that the site causes new flood- or sewerage-related problems. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.”