Project Details

Plot Size: 71 hectares / 175 acres
Land Owner: Linnell Family
Developer: Newlands Developments
Project Name: Equites Park
Planning Application: Yes
Application Ref: NE/22/00151/FUL

Castle Manor Farm

The Castle Manor Farm site has been green, open farmland for as long as anyone can remember, typically used for growing wheat and rape. It is crossed by an ancient hedgerow thought to have been planted before the Enclosure Acts, passed mainly between 1720 and 1840.

In more recent times the small south-western corner of the land was used for gravel extraction. This operation ceased in 2018. An agreement had been in place to return the plot back to agricultural land.

In May 2021 plans for ‘300,000 sq m of B8 distribution/logistics floorspace’ on a second 71 hectare (175 acre) site, under different ownership, suddenly emerged. The second site, to the immediate east of Haldens Parkway, is about 50% bigger than the Glebe Land site. It lies mostly in the parish of Thrapston, though the northern part of it lies in Titchmarsh parish, and it would extend almost as far eastwards as The Leys (the road connecting Polopit to the A14).

The applicants’ agents, Oxalis Planning, have misleadingly described the site as “Sand And Gravel Quarry Land, Huntingdon Road, Thrapston, Northamptonshire”, although only about 25% of the site was ever used for gravel extraction; the rest is farmland previously untouched by any development. The Parish Council is referring to the land as the Castle Manor Farm site, after the farm that would be covered by the proposed development.

A letter from Oxalis Planning to the council explains that 300,000 sq metres of warehousing is proposed, up to a maximum height of 24.5 metres (eighty feet) above ground level – even higher than the current warehouses at Haldens Parkway.

Newlands Developments Proposal – Equites Park

Castle Manor Farm Gallery

The views below are observed from a variety of different vantage points looking out across this vast 175 acre site. The first photos show how this land was formerly used productively for growing wheat. The remaining images were taken after the fields were left fallow and archaeological trenches were dug. (Archaeology has been an integral part of the planning and development process.) This accounts for the numerous earth workings and resultant scarring which can seen seen, particularly in the aerial photos.

Photos by © Pete Jousiffe, Alex Grant and Antar Howarth

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