New homes on land earmarked for school site

HOPES of a primary school being built on a Daventry estate have been dealt another blow.

On Thursday night last week, Daventry District Council gave its backing to a business plan to build 45 homes on the Middlemore estate on land earmarked for the school.

When the estate was originally laid out on 2000, a plot was set aside by Daventry District Council for the provision of a primary school by Northamptonshire County Council.

Many residents who moved to the estate did so on the understanding their children would have a nearby school.

However, since then the county council has decided there are enough school places in Daventry for the projected numbers of children.

The nearest primary school is at Ashby Fields, a walk of some 25 minutes for an adult without young children in tow. But some parents have found themselves allocated places at schools elsewhere in the town, or in nearby villages.

Mayor of Daventry Colin Morgan lives on the estate and has a young child.

He said: “It’s quite a challenge to get a place at a good school when you live here. And then you have the logistic issues of getting children to and from school.

“A lot of people moved here because they thought there would soon be a school on the estate. The finger really has to be pointed at Northamptonshire County Council.

“Daventry District Council has provided a site, but the county doesn’t think we need a school.

But he added: “If there’s no shadow of hope left of a school, then it is right that the land is used for something else, and this way it creates more social housing.”

Of the 45 homes proposed, 13 would be ‘affordable’ homes, made available through social landlords, while 32 would be owned by the council through a separate company and let out at commercial rates.

The project is expected to cost £3.5 million, but the council says the annual income from the rents is expected to be £200,000.