A series of questions asked by members of the public about the proposed canal arm into Daventry were batted away by the leader of the district council.
The questions were formally put to Cllr Chris Millar at DDC’s full council meeting on Thursday night last week.
In all eight questions were asked relating to the canal, and topics raised included who would maintain and clear the canal, income and expenditure to run the boat lift, why no funding had yet been secured, the loss of the Eastern Way playing field, and why a water-front development cannot be built along the existing Grand Union Canal.
Thanking those who asked the questions, Cllr Millar said the canal would be maintained by the Canal and River Trust, and tourists would pay to take trips up and down the boat lift to cover its running costs.
Regarding the lack of funding so far for the project, Cllr Millar said none had yet been sought because no planning approval had been given.
Asked about where UTC students who use the field for games lessons would go, Cllr Millar said the agreement was for the UTC to share the Parker E-ACT Academy fields, and use of Eastern Way field by the UTC was ‘unauthorised’.
Why waterfront restaurants and hotels could not be built along the existing canal at the new Monksmoor estate, Cllr Millar said: “The purpose of the canal arm is to bring new life into the heart of Daventry. Building it on Monksmoor would defeat this. It would also go against the ‘town centre first’ policy in the National Planning Framework. Building along the existing canal would also undermine the Grand Union Canal conservation area.
“We are trying to build up the town and have a focus in the town centre to bring people in.”