THE developer behind proposals for a controversial 550-berth marina in the area, has defended criticisms of the plans.
The Onley Park scheme would provide extra jobs and boost the ecology of the site if it was given planning permission, they say.
Joe Oliver, director of J Marine that would build the £15 million Barby Pools Marina, invited the Daventry Express to look around the site this week.
Mr Oliver insisted the plans, which have even been subject to a staged protest, came as a result of extensive research.
He said: “I have spent six years of my life on this project and in that time, I have asked boat owners and operators what they wanted and the one thing that came back was that they wanted a choice.
“In terms of the need, there has been an increase of 8.7 per cent in demand for moorings in this area each year for the past four years so there is a demand.
“I also did some research on the congestion issue and we found that there was still plenty of spare capacity at the locks even on the busiest days of the year.”
He also believes the project will have several benefits to the wider local community and the ecology of the area.
Mr Oliver added: “The scheme will create 20 full-time jobs and 12 seasonal jobs once the marina is fully operational, plus around 20-30 construction jobs and, what with the knock-on effect as well, we’d be looking at the site creating a total of around 100 jobs in the area.
“We will also be creating 18 hectares of public parkland and valuable wildlife habitats. The site is currently poor quality agricultural land and this land will be repaired.”
Frank Brannigan, a local resident, backed the plans, saying: “All through these plans, Joe has kept us informed and involved us. This will also help create jobs for the young people in the area.”
The Barby Pools Marina Plan is set to be heard by Daventry District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday and officers have recommended the plans for approval.