A masterplan for new housing

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A NEW Masterplan for Daventry. Why now?

It has probably gone unnoticed for most of us, but peel away the eco aspirations and there it is embedded, and out of sight - deliverable land for housing!

DDC is failing to meet housing targets, sites have to be found that are available, suitable and achievable, and here lies the problem – most of the rural area is out of bounds to developers and policy RC2 in the current Daventry district plan identifies existing areas of urban open space and other recreational land for special protection from development.

Current policy states: “Much of the open space within the district is in the form of school playing fields or is privately owned.

“These areas are important environmentally, as well as for the recreational facilities they offer, and the further loss of these facilities will be resisted by the district council.”

Naturally, the planning authority (WNDC) has picked up on this, which has put a bit of a damper on the DDC’s development plans for the Eastern Way playing fields.

However, we only have to read the summary in the new Masterplan 2040 to find the DDC’s answer – change the goalposts! We now have a new policy being proposed – “regeneration of the central area of the town for housing development”.

A draft report on the new Masterplan 2040 was put to the district council’s strategy group on 13 October, 2011.

It came with a caution on page seven - “If adopted as corporate policy by DDC it could be regarded as a material consideration by the council when considering planning applications or indeed by developers submitting proposals or planning inspectors determining an appeal.

“The district council therefore needs to be mindful of its potential significance when adopting the document.”

It’s a pity a similar warning label is not attached to the public consultation form!

Mike Fletcher

On behalf of Friends of Daventry Open Space.

For more readers’ views, see the Daventry Express