Villagers furious over building firm’s compound

Building site on Waters Lane, Middleton Cheney
Building site on Waters Lane, Middleton Cheney

Residents in a peaceful Middleton Cheney lane are up in arms over a builders’ compound established without permission within yards of their homes.

The householders say there is no traffic management in place and safety issues are being ignored in Waters Lane, which is used by children going to and from school.

The busy compound, where offices, generators, vans and heavy machinery are placed, has been erected on part of a field opposite a building site where David Wilson Homes has started construction of 60 new homes.

Vicky Rickelton, who lives opposite the area said: “The contractors came on site two weeks ago and started making this compound.

“They have no planning permission and they’re just running roughshod over our village. It’s absolutely disgusting. I believe the village and the local planning department are being made fools of.

“This is a country lane and they have created a man-made crossroads which they’re taking lorries over.

“Wagons are reversing onto the road and the arms of diggers have been hanging over into the lane.

“The district council’s enforcement officer has been down here and says they will get retrospective consent anyway.”

Mrs Rickleton said David Wilson Homes had acquired planning consent for its advertising material – a showhouse, flagpoles and signs – but believes it has shown complete disregard when it came to the compound.

Middleton Cheney Parish Council discussed the matter on Monday evening and will meet with planning officers.

Mrs Rickelton said her complaint had produced sympathy from the planning officer in the case.

“He wrote to me and said in spite of the sanctions they may face they are willing to take the risk because the process is slow and cumbersome and they are likely to be successful at appeal,” she said.

A spokesman from David Wilson Homes said: “We have been given permission to use a small section of the field on Waters Lane by the landowner and planning permission for the temporary compound has been submitted to the local authority. We felt this was the most suitable location for the compound as it minimises the impact for the majority of the existing residents by reducing localised noise and disruption.”

A spokesman from South Northamptonshire Council said: “There has been an unauthorised development in the field opposite the building site in Waters Lane, Middleton Cheney, and the compound does not have planning permission.

“A retrospective planning application has been submitted, following an enforcement investigation by council officers. This application is currently invalid and awaiting further information.

“In the event that the applicant does not submit the necessary information to enable the council to determine the application, a decision will be made as to whether or not it is expedient to take formal enforcement action.

“The issue of highway safety will be considered when the application has been validated or when assessing whether it is expedient to take enforcement action.

“However, an initial assessment by council officers has determined that the compound is not considered to be causing any immediate highway danger as vehicles reversing into the highway are being supervised by David Wilson Homes construction workers.”