Residents’ calls for new estate school ignored

A NEW school will not be built on Daventry’s Middlemore estate, despite pleas from residents for more facilities to keep up with the growing population.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) has told the Daventry Express that no plans are in place to build a primary school on the estate.

That comes despite the fact Bellway Homes has applied to build a further 147 new homes on Middlemore.

When plans for the estate were first unveiled around 10 years ago, a new school was earmarked. But those plans were later shelved and a spokesman for NCC said this week: “Currently there is sufficient capacity for primary school pupils in Daventry.

“However we will continue to monitor the situation and assess changing demographic patterns in the area.

“From this we can then address the issue when primary pupil numbers go up.”

Cllr Chris Long, who represents Middlemore on both the county and district council, believes NCC has made the wrong decision in scrapping plans for a school.

He said: “The decision was based upon the current number of children that would require a place at junior school.

“But if the development continues at the pace that it currently is, and if there are further housing developments in Daventry, there will be a requirement for a new school in that area.

“Children living there are currently using the Ashby Fields and Grange schools, but the logistics of getting to those schools are a problem.

“I don’t believe the county council is looking at the whole picture. I would rather see plans now for a school and I think the decision taken to not do this was a wrong one.”

Under planning laws Bellway will have to provide the local authorities with something known as Section 106 money if it gets the go ahead to build more homes.

This money is used to ensure new developments enhance local communities, but it’s not yet clear how any cash from the Middlemore development would be spent.

Daventry District Council director Simon Bovey said: “The planning committee will decide what the Section 106 will cover if it approves the planning application.”