Success as park given protection

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COUNCILLORS have voted unanimously to give all of Daventry Country Park conservation status.

Acknowledging the support for the move from members of the public, hundreds of whom joined the Gusher’s Protect Our Park campaign, Daventry District Council gave the whole park equal protection at a full council meeting on Thursday, December 9.

Cllr Andrew Harris, who represents the ward covering the park and is the council’s heritage champion, said: “The historic and conservation value of a site lies with how the people see it.

“Since the 19th century this site has been a place for local people to go for recreation.

“There’s been a clear, demonstrable support in our community for the park and for this move.”

A conservation area had been brought in following a public campaign, led by the Daventry Express, in 2006. But that zone only covered part of the site and left out the meadows along the park’s western edge.

The meadows face onto Northern Way and so would be easy to develop, but Cllrs Chris Over, Colin Poole and Ian Donachie put pressure on DDC to reconsider the scheme.

Cathering Lomax, one of the two Liberal Democrat councillors, said: “I support this motion, however I’m going to say that conservation area status will not give the park full protection. I ask that the council looks into the possibility of giving the Country Park charitable status.”

After the meeting Cllr Poole said: “What a wonderful Christmas present.

“I have spent a number of years campaigning to achieve this result, however this would not I feel sure have been possible without the help of others.

“To this end I would like to thank the Daventry Express for running a campaign in support, the Friends of the Country Park for their support, local residents and community groups and not forgetting the unanimous support of councillors.”