School for new housing estate is backed by county council

An artist's impression of Mickle Well Park
An artist's impression of Mickle Well Park

A new primary school is guaranteed to be built on a new housing estate in Daventry, if it gets planning approval, after being backed by the county council.

Northamptonshire County Council confirmed construction of a two-form entry academy school with capacity for 420 pupils would begin at the same time as work on 450 homes on the Mickle Well Park estate.

However, the estate developer Landform has yet to be granted planning permission.

It is estimated children living on the new estate would take up a third of the school’s capacity, with the rest remaining open to children from surrounding areas.

Landform’s technical director, Tom Symes, stressed the provision of 4.7 acres of land and money towards the cost of the school would be a legally binding part of the planning permission. He said: “This is great news that the county council has confirmed that it will build a new school.

“This commitment by the council and Landform is a matter of fact and not wishful thinking.

“The legal agreement with the council will mean that the land can only be used for a school and that it cannot be taken away or sold by the developer.”

Landform has tried to address residents’ concerns that the Mickle Well school could go the way of the one originally planned for nearby Middlemore. There, although land was left for a school, the county council said it would not back a school.

Mr Symes said: “Landform’s agreement with NCC is different to the one relating to the proposed Middlemore school, where the land for the school was owned by Daventry District Council and was not that related to the housing scheme.” The developers told The Gusher they have written to local parish councils setting out the plans for the new school and argue they have effectively addressed residents’ concerns.

Mr Symes said: “As local residents know, we have worked very closely with the community throughout our planning process in order to understand their concerns and to answer them.

“There have been a few misunderstandings about some of the more technical issues which we are happy to have now clarified. We remain open to further discussion.”

Around 50 residents and members from the Mickle Well opposition group attended a special meeting of the town council on Thursday, November 13 to discuss the plans for 450 new homes on land to the north of the town, and campaigners reacted angrily when Daventry Town Council formally backed the plan.