Mixed reaction to plans for new local centre near Northamptonshire village

Some residents have argued that the new centre, located on the southern edge of Brixworth, would detract from the appeal of living in a rural village and convert it more into a town.
-Credit: (Image: Google / Ekeney Consulting)


Proposals to build a new local centre, fit with a spa, gym, shops and other amenities, on the edge of a Northamptonshire village have been met with both anger and excitement from residents.

Plans for the new development on the outskirts of Brixworth, by the cricket club off Northampton Road, will bring forward a gymnasium and dance hall, a convenience store and pharmacy, a drive-through coffee shop and space for small businesses.

However, concerns have already been raised that the new complex could detract from the nature of the rural village, making it a "mini town" and bringing more traffic and pollution onto their roads. The conservation of wildlife also featured heavily in people's judgement of the plans, with a villager branding plans for the centre an "ugly eye sore in an otherwise beautiful village".

One Brixworth resident summed up their worries: "We are a village and want to remain that way. We do not want to grow to a small town. We are proud of our green spaces and do not need them to be joined up with more development.

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"Residents choose the village because it has the amenities they want and need. If they wanted the services this development is offering so close by, they would live in the town."

The designs also set out a street of 16 affordable homes to the west of the cricket club and a brand-new spa and wellness centre amongst the development.

Concerns were also raised that the additional houses would add to the pressure on facilities not provided in the centre, such as libraries, doctors and dentists.

The development would be located next to the town's cricket and tennis club, off Northampton Road.
The development would be located next to the town's cricket and tennis club, off Northampton Road. -Credit:Google

Another resident said: "The proposal is more suited to a suburban area rather than the outskirts of a village that has enough amenities. It is an isolated area and not suitable for commercial units or even more housing.

"I moved to Brixworth from Northampton for a village way of life. It seems that every bit of green land on the outskirts of Northamptonshire are being overdeveloped."

Despite some pushback, the plans have also generated some buzz from certain members of the community who feel Brixworth would benefit from the local centre.

A letter of support sent to the council read: "Living on the new build estate in Brixworth myself there is a requirement for additional amenities. The Co-op and takeaway restaurants in the village gets extremely busy and congested and is the other side of the village.

"Traffic within the top end of the village would not affect those living deeper in the village and if anything would reduce the amount of traffic travelling into the village due to being able to walk to new amenities."

Others also praised the location and inclusion of facilities that are "lacking" including the supermarket and pharmacy and the appeal of a gym and wellness centre so nearby when rural transport is "limited".

Final comments on the plans are due in at the end of next week on Friday, July 19. A decision on the scheme is set to be made by West Northamptonshire Council in mid-August.