The Cause – Stop Building on our Countryside

UPDATE 4th March 16:

The planning inspector has now made his decision to grant planning permission for up to 1000 new houses.

Full details can be found here:

Thank you for all your support. 


Hardingstone is a village in Northamptonshire, England. We love it.  What we particularly love is the beautiful countryside, green fields and farm land that rolls unchecked for miles.

That’s a rare sight in this day and age, eh?

But now our village, steeped in history, is under threat.

To be honest, it has been brewing for years. There’s a housing shortage in the UK and green belt farmland, supposedly protected, has been a soft target for the builders because it is cheaper than developing brown field sites which need regeneration.

Hardingstone has provided new houses where it can, in small developments that the village can absorb. However now it could fall victim to a massive expansion, cutting it off from the countryside and doubling its size. We don’t think the roads would cope, we don’t think the schools would cope, and we don’t think Hardingstone could keep its village and community spirit.

That’s why we’re here. To voice the concern and stop the proposed development of 1000s new houses in the village.

We’re saying this.

Keep Hardingstone a village and say NO to the developers who plan to destroy it.

Everyone must OBJECT NOW, time is running out.



We need your help once again to come along and attend the Northampton Borough Council Planning Committee meeting where they are going to vote whether to Approve or Reject this planning application. Please can we ask as many people as possible to come along to the meeting to show our strong local opposition on Tuesday 6th May 14 at the Guildhall at 6pm.

Thank you to everyone who showed their support last night. For those of  you who are not aware  Northampton Borough Council Planning Committee  agreed to REJECT this planning application.

The Developers may decide to appeal this decision so please keep checking back to find out the latest information.

An Appeal has now been made so please look at our Appeal 2015 page for further information, time is running out.

A Public Enquiry will now take place starting on the  16th June 2015  at 10am to the 19th June and then the 23rd – 26th June. This will take place at the Captains Suite, The Saints Rugby Ground, Weedon Road, Northampton, NN5 5BG.
Once again please come along and show your support.



27 thoughts on “The Cause – Stop Building on our Countryside

    • Cheers Judy, adding maps will be a great way of explaining how the development will impact on the village and it’s definitely something that we’ll be creating in the future. Let me know if you’d like to help us, it’ll be great to have a hand.

  1. I absolutely hate the idea of the roads becoming more clogged up. In term time i need a helicopter to get out of the Warren at peak times. How can we stop what i believe is almost a foregone conclusion? I have a vested interest as i live in the Warren and will be loosing my view. In addition, i will probably have a footpath down the side of my house which will leave me vulnerable to dog mess, skate boarders and kids with footballs (as in my previous property) If i had wanted to live in town i would have done so. Why the hell do they have to build so many houses in such a small space with no regard for village life?

  2. Let me guess, you all own houses already so don’t see the need for any more? Maybe you should try being a bit less selfish and give the next generation a chance in life.

  3. Well I live in Wootton Fields and it will impact on us too. Where on earth are all the children going to go to school? The nearest doctor who is not completely full is in Hunsbury. Loss of arable land and countryside must be a concern to all. There is ample brownfield space around in my view. Conrad – we all started off life in small flats and worked up to living in the countryside. Try it.

  4. I am trying it thanks. I have lived in rented flats for the last 8 years. I work full time, live modestly and have been saving half of my take-home pay for years so that I can one day buy a place to live. I don’t expect something for nothing, I work hard and pay for everything I have with money I earned off my own back. All I am asking for is similar opportunities in life to the ones that your generation had.

    The UK housing supply is not big enough for the population. You can say ‘the government should control immigration’ but what am I supposed to do about immigration? I’m just a normal English commoner who needs to work for a living, same as you. Should I spend my life in a tiny rented flat because Tony Blair didn’t manage immigration properly? I never even voted for him!

    There is a real shortage of housing in this country. House prices are very high relative to wages because there is not enough supply. Housebuilding is at its lowest level since WW2, partly because of opposition groups like Save Hardingstone.

    All of the housing in Hardingstone was built on green fields at some point. Most of it is post-war. The generations before you didn’t stop the construction of the houses that you now live in. Please be as generous towards my generation as previous generations were towards yours. It is cruel to restrict the supply of something as essential to life as housing in the way that is happening now.

    • I think Hardingstone has already contributed, witness the Redrow development (and the loss of the footpath).This is good arable land lost forever.
      Wootton Fields has more than quadrupled since I moved here 15 years ago. Enough is enough. I don’t want to live in a concrete wilderness.

    • Thanks for your comments. I completely agree that we need more affordable housing. However, I don’t believe for a second that these new houses will be within the price range of first time buyers. I even know for a fact that many are being marketed as luxury with a planned sale price of £500k. Have a look on Right Move and I’ll bet you that you’ll find a thousand cheaper, unsold and already built houses within East Hunsbury, West Hunsbury, Wootton Fields, Grange Park, Simpsons Barracks and Collingtree. My point is, would another housing development of that ilk make things easier for first time buyers like you and me? I doubt it.

  5. New housing developments are fine and appropriate in the RIGHT place! 50 new houses have been added to the Newport Pagnell Road, and Waitrose have a major supermarket development at the Garden Centre also on NP road. The infrastructure cannot cope at peak times now and the additional burden these existing projects will create are going to cause major issues as it is. For too long the developers have made empty promises to planning committees e.g. Northampton Girls school will bus pupils in, lasted a term, and the criminal justice centre will taxi detainees out, totally illegal. There is an enormous doughnut effect in Northampton, whereby land that can be built on within the town centre area is being ignored for the easier option of building on green belt land. Well, this proposed site will create huge problems in construction as it has more peaks and troughs than the British weather!! It is as it should be arable land that was given to our village to be put to the best use for our village; greed is timeless and we are now paying for the greed of the generation before us who sold any available land they had to the New Town commission regardless of its suitability for development.
    Quite simply the government quango which took over from the new town commission has a chunk of land which is barely suited for development that it wishes to dispose of at any cost, without any thought of the impact to existing stakeholders, the people of Hardingstone, Wootton fields, and anyone wishing to negotiate Mereway roundabout at peak times.

  6. Complaining about the toll your eyes will take from a 1000 new homes is by the by I’m afraid, you don’t own the view from your house and you never have.

    I agree on certain points regarding infrastructure but the rest is just hot air from NIMBY points of view. You’ve had ample time to smell the coffee on the threat of expansion living in very close proximity of an expanding town. I certainly struggle to sympathise on the loss of a supposed village way of life.

    I can happily run off a string of actual isolated rural villages surrounded by superior countryside in the North of England if that’s what you crave. A few flat fields on the edge of Northampton pales in comparison. .

    • In reply to Bob, the point is that here we don’t have rolling hills or hundreds of acres of moorland to enjoy – thats why we value what we have. I have lived in the North and they do have great expanses of nothing, but they also have heavily congested cities overrun by immigrant populations packed in like sardines viz Bradford. No thank you. If is is so good up there Bob why do you want to move down here?

  7. I posted a comment yesterday with the core question of how welcoming the locals would be to someone moving back to the UK from abroad, opting to buy a new house in Hardingstone.
    My post has been wiped off the face of the earth……Was that the reply?

  8. Thank you for showing my second post.
    May I repeat the question contained in the first one:
    Considering purchasing one of the new houses in Hardingstone, returning from a work posting abroad, are we going to regret moving to this village as “bad feelings” might be levelled at newcomers?

    Maybe one of the very vocal locals might like to answer this?

    • As a vocal local, I would hope that nobody would be the focus of bad feelings. We aren’t just worried about the impact on current residents, we’re also concerned about future residents if the proposal goes ahead. But if you have no school age children, don’t drive, don’t want to take public transport after early evening (when it stops), don’t mind living next to an industrial estate, don’t need health care, don’t care about nature, don’t mind being flooded by the springs, and are willing to risk subsidence from the sand and clay layers which aren’t mentioned in the proposal, or the previous quarrying works at the site – well, it may be just the place for you!

  9. Kate, thank you for that.
    I can only wonder at how you are fighting for and defending the place where YOU live tooth and nail? Looking at the map, Hardingstone Village is in spitting distance of the awful scenario you describe.
    I assume you do not need health care either and don’t mind the flooding etc.
    Not that I really feel the need to explain myself but, yes, we absolutely adore nature and know that Northamptonshire is full of it – maybe not outside the kitchen window but certainly generously spread over the county.
    Your ultimate sentence with its throw away sarcasm really does nothing to endear the vocal local to newcomers. What a shame.

    • Hey Cooper. No one in the village wants to see people, like yourself, get tricked into investing in a property that’s build on land that is water logged, unstable and potentially unsafe.

      We all agree that new housings need to be built – what we don’t agree on, is building them without proper planning, consent and thinking.

    • Sorry to have offended you, I didn’t mean to imply that that was your wish list! My frustration is with the developers and planning process, not with the people who may come here if the application is approved.

      The infrastructure is already straining with all the recent development, and 1,000 new households would push it over the edge. That is why we are fighting it.

  10. Hey mikeykelk,

    The thing that really interests me is, where and how will the potential developers secure building permission on ground described as above?
    Where will those who need a Mortgage, secure one with the “facts” (are they facts? ….waterlogged, unstable and potentially unsafe, as well as previous quarrying works….) staring into a Surveyor’s face?

    With regard to the locals’ concerns for possible newcomers to invest in unsafe properties, well, that would be laudable if indeed the warnings were based on facts.

    Maybe you could be of help, as in “local guide”, and point me into the right direction so I can read official material which supports the claims.
    Thank you.

  11. It interests us and our local MP too!

    If you’d like to know more about these issues – the group meets most Wednesdays, and if you send me your email, I can send you the latest newsletters.

    But just remember, we’re a small village group. It’s hard for us to get hold of official figures and facts. Give me some time. Let me talk to the group, do the digging and get back to you.

    That said, we do have first hand experience. You really should come visit rather than just taking it from me.

    Good luck,

  12. Thanks for coming back, MK.
    As I have mentioned in my earlier post we are on a work-related foreign posting and will probably return to the UK next summer, hence the house hunting.
    We shall come over to see family and friends in the next three weeks and might drop in to see Hardingstone and environs ourselves.

  13. I live on Newport Pagnell Road, we moved in to the area March 2014.
    We have done extensive work in the back garden, and we have Gold Crested Newts. Is this something I need to report, as I know they are a protected species, and would this affect the development behind us?

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