School plan to be put in by summer

Daventry District Council is to build a new primary school in the town, rather than leaving it to a developer or the county council.

The council says plans for a primary school on the new Monksmoor estate will be submitted by its own development team this summer.

Traditionally, the district council would identify land for a school, housing developers would put cash towards it, and eventually the county council would build and run it. That was the plan for Daventry’s Middlemore estate. DDC set aside land, but the county council said there was no need for the extra primary school places.

Chris Millar told the Daventry Express: “In the past we wouldn’t have been able to do this, but under the coalition government the rules have been changed.

“We want to see a school built on Monksmoor sooner rather than later. We are doing this on behalf of the residents of the town and district.”

Previously the developers of Monksmoor said they would build the school, but to generate the money they would need to build and sell hundreds of homes first, pushing back the date for the school and potentially meaning there would be scores of primary school age children looking for a place.

The new plan means DDC will build it, and only afterwards get the majority of the money from the developer as homes are sold on the estate.

Karen Tweedale, from the Middlmore Residents’ Association, said: “Personally I don’t blame DDC for taking this course of action.

“With the structure of district councils being responsible for planning, and county council’s running education nothing was ever certain – you only have to look at what’s happened on Middlemore.

“The county council has to fill all its places before it looks at expanding provision or building new schools.

“On Middlemore we have children who leave home at 8am to get to school, and don’t get home until after 4pm. That’s a long day for someone of infant school age.”