Weedon awash with yellow signs as hundreds fight controversial expansion plans

Just a few of the signs up in Weedon
Just a few of the signs up in Weedon

Hundreds of residents of Weedon have raised money to put on a display of posters and boards to show their anger at a housing proposal.

The village is awash with large yellow signs emblazoned with a warning triangle and the wording “Weedon Residents say NO to New Street Development”.

Some of the campaigners in New Street alongside the signs.

Some of the campaigners in New Street alongside the signs.

This display follows a petition signed by over 560 residents, alongside hundreds of letters sent to Daventry District Council voicing concerns over the highly controversial development plans to build over 120 houses on land off New Street.

In February 2014 Cheshire based developers Gladman first submitted plans for a large housing development with more than 120 houses on a green field site off New Street, just off the main route that runs through the village centre.

Residents and councillors expressed grave concerns about the site because New Street, the only access to and from the site, is effectively a single track road due to parked cars and is already a narrow and very busy bottleneck. Residents say they feel the road is struggling to cope with present demands and would be more dangerous with increased traffic. Other issues raised included flooding, the pressure on amenities such as dentist, doctors and the local primary school, which is already over-subscribed.

Village residents, the parish, district council and local groups demonstrated strongly against the development and in October last year the application was unanimously refused. However, the developers have since appealed that decision and the village now awaits the outcome of a public inquiry.

Dale Langley, one of the founding members of the Weedon Action Group said, “The fight so far has been a fantastic community effort with positive outcomes and we will continue to fight.

“With our banners, garden boards, posters in windows, hundreds strong petition and letters against the development I’m sure Gladman will eventually get the message, ‘We support development for future generations but it needs to be in sustainable locations. This large development is in the wrong place and is totally unsuitable for the many reasons it was rejected at the initial application’.”

Gladman, has now submitted near-identical plans and the fight is very much back on from the campaigners’ point of view.

Mr Langley said: “If it were to go ahead the impact on the whole village would be huge.

“From over-subscription of the village school and doctors surgery, to strain on infrastructure and the impact on the historic landscape. Without question a development of this size will affect everyone in village in some way.

“We’ve got a fantastic community who have supported the generation of a neighbourhood plan centred around sustainable development, we will not take this lying down and vow to continue the fight.

“Join our fight and keep up to date with developments at www.weedonaction.co.uk or join our Facebook page ’Weedon Residents Against New Street Development’.”

The Weedon Action Group alongside the parish council is urging residents to again voice their opinions over the new plans to Daventry District Council by May 29, the planning application number is DA/2015/0339.

A pubic meeting will be held on Sunday May 17 in the village hall on West Street at 10am.

Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions, find out more about the latest plans and receive help in making comments to the district council.

Ian Dunkley, parish councillor and member of Weedon Action Group said: “Your opinion really does matter. We’ve said it before and as a community we made a difference. Now let’s all rally together against the latest application and ensure it is rejected.

“The response against the initial application was overwhelming and helped drive it being unanimously rejected. The visual display around the village is fantastic and the fight is well and truly back on. I would therefore urge residents to ensure they voice their opinion.”