Friday brief: Protests against plans to build in a rural conservation area
Plus questions asked about a new tourism proposal and our usual Westminster Watch
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Villagers in Bugbrooke staged a mass protest last weekend about plans to build ten large homes on a green patch in a conservation area.
Organised by local Imma Boada a sizeable crowd turned out to protest against the plans for land off Great Lane, being lodged to build the five bed homes.
The protest group told NN Journal:
"Destruction of this mediaeval site will impact negatively on the village of Bugbrooke as it is the last unspoilt, green space in the village for local residents to enjoy. The addition of ten houses will also cause an unacceptable increase in traffic congestion around the area.”
They say the scheme is an enabling application to fund renovation of the adjacent Park Hall, Church Lane.
So far 100 objections have been lodged with planning authority West Northamptonshire Council and Consultation on the application closes on November 17, with a target decision date of January next year.
News in brief:
A Labour councillor has questioned a proposal from North Northamptonshire Council to spend £275,000 setting up a tourism office at shopping hotspot Rushden Lakes. The unitary council’s idea is to transform a shop unit at the popular retail complex into a place to sell the county, complete with an instagrammable outdoor bench where people will be encouraged to share selfies.
The money will come from the £4.83m allocated by the government to NNC as part of the Shared Prosperity fund. Other money will go towards developing a masterplan and funding strategy for the NN greenway (which may link Wellingborough and Rushden areas) and there is mention of green space improvements in the county’s three left behind areas, but no detail.
The Conservative executive is set to approve the funding at its meeting next Thursday.
But Cllr Mark Pengelly has questioned why the proposal has not been put before the council and debated.
“This is the first I’ve heard about it,” he said.
“Tourism is really important for North Northamptonshire and I think we all need to have a say in where any facility goes. Personally I think we should be looking at a number of tourist points across the area. But once again the funding is going to the East of the county.”
In order to secure the Shared Prosperity fund money (which has not as yet been received by the council) the authority needed to put together an investment plan detailing projects. An online consultation was carried out by the authority but no detail of any aspects of the plan has been put before the council before it was signed off by ruling councillors and senior officers and submitted to government.
Police, fire and crime commissioner Stephen Mold has scrapped £6m plans to create a joint workshop garage for the fire and police fleet after the building costs have risen to £16m.
Commissioner Mold issued a news release yesterday to say he was having an urgent review of the police estate in face of rising inflation costs and
The building in Earls Barton which was due to be turned into a garage will be sold along with five police boxes and a house. He also said further efforts will be made to dispose of the old Kettering and Corby police stations.
As NN Journal reported recently the former stations have stood empty for several years.
A meeting of North Northamptonshire Council to discuss a neon sign at the new museum and gallery in Kettering had to be abandoned this week due to a council blunder.
The council had failed to inform all of the 32 objectors (who say the sign is out of keeping with the venue) that a planning meeting was being held to discuss the matter and so had to call time on the meeting.
Daventry MP and Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris is facing one of his biggest political moments after declaring last week that there must be a Stormont election.
His decision comes after several months of Northern Ireland being without a functioning government due to the Democratic Unionists Party’s refusal to carry on the power sharing agreement until Sunak’s Government makes changes to the Brexit deal.
Heaton-Harris has met with some leading political parties in Northern Ireland and Ireland this week but still has not set a date for the election.
🎷BBC Radio 6 presenter Craig Charles is taking his Funk and Soul club to the Roadmender in Northampton tonight at 10pm
🎺Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be playing at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton next Wednesday (November 9).
🏃It’s the 400th Corby Park run being held tomorrow at the usual venue of West Glebe Park at 9am.
🔥There are of course firework events across the county, including at Wicksteed Park on Saturday and Corby Boating lake this evening.
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