Anger after 200 new homes win approval

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‘Democracy is dead’ was the conclusion of a campaigner against 200 new village homes which have just been given approval.

Daventry District Council’s planning committee was split on whether to grant permission for the new homes off Byfield Road in Woodford Halse. The final decision was taken by the chairman Cllr Steve Osborne’s in a casting vote.

During the consultation phase around 120 villagers had voted against the plans.

At last Wednesday’s planning committee members of the public and both Woodford and Byfield parish councils spoke against the plans, highlighting the already over-stretched local facilities and roads, and the risk of flooding of the new homes and other areas in the village.

Homes built on part of the same field flooded during construction and again in November 2012, but planning officers said the Environment Agency had raised no objections.

Despite several councillors speaking against the plans at the meeting, the committee was split five votes to five on the plans, leading the chairman to cast his deciding vote.

After the meeting Mr Johnston said: “The people of this country are still treated in the same way they were in Dickensian times rather than the significantly better educated population of the 21st century that we actually are, and get no say in the management of our communities.

“We know we are not the only village fighting this problem. But isn’t it interesting that the three villages in the district that have had large planning applications approved - Long Buckby, Moulton and Woodford Halse - are probably the three largest villages in the district.

“I wonder how many of the Councilors that voted against us live in those three villages?

“Given the degree of village support there was against this development it fully demonstrates that democracy in this country is dead.”