Letters from January 12 edition

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Here is a selection of letters published in our February 12 edition.

College plans

Plans prompt a range of views

In his letter regarding Northampton College’s plans to re-develop our site at Badby Road West in Daventry, Mr O’Pray refers to our original intention to sell only the land on which the current buildings and car park are situated.

While this was part of our early plans, we have taken advice and concluded that the best solution for students would be to remain at our current location as this offers us the best chance to deliver the improved educational facilities that the town needs.

Our new plans, revealed at the public consultation exhibition earlier this month, mean that we will need to retain some space for our new building.

However, we are also proposing to include public open space within the master plan and to enable a developer to construct houses with plenty of green space between them.

It is our view that two full sized sports pitches can accommodate the needs of our students while still enabling organisations such as Drayton Grange Football Club to use them for their purposes.

We are keen to emphasise that any sale of land is absolutely necessary in order for the college to match the government grant funding.

Whether we move into town or stay at our current location, the new facilities cannot be afforded without disposing of some assets. Our intention is to do this in a way that makes a minimal impact on the local environment while providing a valuable and much-needed contribution to education in the town.

It is essential that Daventry offers a range of high quality choices if we are to succeed in making an impact with a ‘new start’ and encourage young people and their parents to keep education local.

Northampton College

DDC leader Cllr Chris Millar now expects the Daventry community to be pragmatic at the proposed loss of recreational land at the tertiary college site.

Effectively, we are being asked to support Cllr Millar and the college authorities in their efforts at avoiding local and national planning policy, in order to build houses on the land.

This is land which has been used by generations of local children for organised sporting activities, spanning 40 years, and the value to the health and well-being of the community is incalculable, and recognised in planning policy, protecting this land.

The district council has made commitments to maximise the use of existing recreational and leisure facilities in Daventry and this is in recognition of the substantial shortfall highlighted by independent studies – it seems this commitment is no longer valid.

The loss of yet more green open space will not be acceptable to the people of Daventry – what will be expected is a more imaginative and pragmatic approach to existing educational facilities by Northampton College, and greater respect for the views of the people.

Mike Fletcher

For FODOS

Following the very brief consultation with limited invitation (only a proportion of local residents were invited) on the potential plans for the college grounds, I was very disappointed to see that the plan for the area was poorly thought out and misleading in its content, and gives little consideration to current residents.

The plan appears to have two football pitches included that, in reality, could not be of the size they are proposing as there is a protected tree that would be “in” one of the pitches, and the amount of land allocated is just not big enough to house two pitches.

These pitches also do not meet the recommendations required to fulfil the affiliation of Drayton Grange Football Club to be competitive.

The football team have used this site since 1978, and the changes would have large implications for the club, affecting many of the young population of the area.

The understanding from the consultation was that the pitches would be fenced off, therefore preventing people using them for general recreation, and therefore not actually being open, usable space.

The plan is unsympathetic to local home owners on Gable Close and Grovelands, as it indicates that properties would over look those already there, especially on Grovelands where the land aspect is higher than that of the current properties.

The proposition of having a road from Yeomanry Way to Badby Road through the site will encourage people to use it as a short cut to avoid the cross roads, which in turn will damage the ecology in the current hedge row, which is wide and varied, including various species of bats, woodpeckers and hedgehogs. The hedge row also has protected trees through out it.

It saddened me to see the comment in the paper about making the campus a first-class facility.

As an ex-pupil of both the Grange Comprehensive and the tertiary college, both of which were excellent facilities, to see that the building and the curriculum have been run down over the recent years and the student numbers having dropped to less than a quarter of that in previous years, it is hard to believe that this is solely due to inadequate buildings that, actually, are only 40 years old.

Sue Lee

Grovelands

With all the talk and headlines regarding the demolition of the current Daventry College, due to the fact that it is apparently not fit for purpose in its current state, I was a little ‘amused’ to see the advert on page 12 of the Daventry Express, February 5 where prospective students are being encouraged to attend the open evening to “check out our amazing facilities”!

Yes they are and don’t need demolishing.

Perhaps refurbishment and some changes are required but to blatantly sell off land for development is wrong.

To lose 60 per cent of green open spaces is totally unacceptable.

Ann Pells

Daventry

A45 bypass junction

Junction ‘a bodge’

It’s not just you [Near miss raises junction questions, Editor’s Comment, February 5). That junction, although I use it only occasionally, is a puzzle to me also. It seems it is a bodge from an original cockup. I can only assume that filtering was too short and dangerous. And you are right you need to be a contortionist as it is now.

The problem is similar on the other side where traffic comes over the bridge almost behind you when joining the Badby Road (A361) up the slipway at that junction.

I believe that originally the second A45 outer bypass road was to be a dual carriageway which never materialized. You will note there is enough width under the bridges.

Ken Marshall

Barby

New Street Rec

A little TLC

In 1887 the dignitaries of Daventry suggested a recreation ground as a memorial for Queen Victoria’s jubilee. Townspeople raised the money to buy a suitable four-acre field in New Street for £722.1s.10d from Mr Thomas Bates.

Its only fault was a footpath that runs diagonally across the field and so prevents it ever being locked and precludes the taking of gate money. In 1891 the field was dedicated by the mayor to be used by the inhabitants of the town for recreational purposes in perpetuity.

In May 1919 a bowling green was laid for Daventry Town Bowling Club. Following their move to Stefen Hill in 1980 the Daventry & District Bowls Club occupied the site. The club closed in April 2010.

The popular new play area and skate ramp gets lost in the now overgrown bowls green. Proposals to demolish the pavilion and trim the hedges appear to have been put on hold.

Visitors see a sad and neglected space with few benches but the Rec only needs some TLC and not a huge budget to restore it. I wonder what our fore-fathers would think of it now.

Sue Yates

Inlands Rise