Welcome to Stanwick Village Residents' Group

We love our village and everything about it. To ensure it stays as beatiful peaceful and welcoming as it has always been, the Group has been established to support how the village grows. We are here to ensure that approaches by land developers are appropriate and to work with the Parish Council and East Northants Disctrict Council to ensure that all issues and matters related to the views of the community of Stanwick are correctly addressed.

Below are the most recent news updates related to our activities and progress on proposed changes to our community.

Gladman Appeal Updates

For a variety of reasons we've been unable to update these blog pages for a little while; pressure of day-to-day work combined with limited new "news" has made it difficult to be news-worthy but nevertheless things have been changing in the summer months. I thought it would be an ideal time therefore to bring the site bang up-to-date with what we now know about Gladman and the success or otherwise of their appeals in this and other neighbouring areas.

First of all, we were notified by East Northants District Council that Gladman were going to make a combined appeal against the decision to reject their proposal for 230 homes as well as the reduced proposal for 198 homes.

This was something of a worry, however we suspect that even they realised the folly of their way and in July we were all delighted to hear that their appeal against their first proposal (230) had been retracted. No one really knows at the moment what the logic was but it likely works in our benefit!

A date was set for October 11th for the public inquiry and we were informed that it would last several days; residents were given until 3rd of August to launch any fresh objections. Meanwhile, in early August, we heard that Spire Homes was to invest over £10 million in the building project for hundreds of affordable houses across Northamptonshire. Some of these homes are planned for Raunds, Thrapston and Higham Ferrers for completion in 2017. Our local MP Tom Pursglove had rattled cages within parliament in relation to other affected groups and also in general against inappropriate housing development. Like a game of ping-pong!

So, with Gladman changing their mind about the enquiry, at the same time as local pressure and additional homes being committed in the area it does make you wonder why Gladman are even bothering.

Today, 15th August 2016, we were delighted to hear that our neighbours in Brigstock have had a decision in their favour; the Planning Inspector rejected Gladmans planning appeal in Brigstock on the basis that it was not sustainable, would be harmful to the character of the Village of Brigstock and he also accepted ENDCs housing stock numbers.

If you read those two or three points very carefully you will notice that they echo almost perfectly the concerns which we raised in our objection letters many months ago. As Ian Simpson from Brigstock says "Hopefully this bodes well for our case in Stanwick - good luck!".

Is there any more that we can do? Right now, it is our understanding that this is all in the hands of ENDC, that our objections from the first round still stand and any new objections raised before 3 August will be added. There is no point in duplicating existing objections and now we have two wait and hope that not only can ENDC put together an equally strong case but also that the Planning Inspector looks at our issues in the same way as he did for Brigstock!

Cottons Surgery News

Interesting, worrying yet valuable to be informed by the Cottons Patient Participation Group that with effect from 15th February 2016, the Cottons Practice List has been CLOSED to all new patients, with the exception of Hargrave.

Click here for the announcement and supporting letter.

A recent letter entitled "General Practice in Crisis: A Statement from Northamptonshire Local Medical Committee" highlighted the dilemma of reduced funding in General Practice over recent years and the fact that surgeries  are faced with huge difficulties in recruiting new doctors and nurses to work in General Practice. Currently there is a shortfall of about 10,000 GPs across the country. The letter reflects that it is impossible to see how this shortfall can be addressed when it takes a minimum of 10 years to train a GP.

Consequently the NHS has authorised the Practice to close their list for the next 6 months, after which time an application can be made to extend the closure further.

While we feel this is a regrettable situation which is beyond our control, we believe the information and background is of use in our campaign to stop any significant development within the Stanwick boundary. We do not have our own GP Practice and the majority of residents are patients at The Cottons.

A Case of Deja Vu?

We found a good word recently. It is a word that refers to action seen as burdensome, irritating, unnecessary and frustrating  by one person upon another. The word is 'vexacious' and we think it perfectly fits the new application made to ENDC to build 198 units on the land north of West Street. The timing could not be more irksome, causing distress and concern for many at Christmas and New Year but nevertheless we are cranking the handle yet again to make our voices heard by ENDC.

We believe the developer will be ready for anything and whatever we do or say will already have an argument to the contrary from them but let's ponder one point that no-one can deny. Only a few months ago, ENDC heard our objections, understood and accepted the feelings and logical feedback from the village and unanimously rejected Gladman's application to build 230 homes. For months, nothing happened; the silence was deafening. Meanwhile the appeal had already started within the Gladman machine and at the very last moment, the appeal was lodged - almost under the carpet.

Now, appeals cost money, lots of money; money that we all pay through our local taxes but ENDC were ready for this and by rejecting the application showed their commitment to Stanwick. That was in September.

It is now December and we expect that ENDC often see scaled down re-applications from aggrieved developers as a way to 'get round' the rejection process so we hope that this second application fails just as spectacularly as the first one did.

We suspect that Gladman are hoping that, by reducing the unit count from 230 to 198, they will appease ENDC this time round. We can only hope that common sense will prevail again and that the council see through this vexacious attempt by Gladman to avoid the delays (and costs) incurred by having going to full appeal and, we hope, losing.

Our efforts now are focused over the new year in bringing together our team to co-ordinate input into the objection process, just as we did last time - yes Gladman, if you are reading our pages, we don't plan to roll over - and we have until January 11th 2016 to make our views known. Nothing much changes, losing 32 homes is a minimal reduction and will not affect the strength of our voices.

And finally, think on this. We are no scientists but the land in question drains water down through the soil and toward the natural water courses. Building homes on this land, covering this capacity to absorb rain water means the quantity soaking away will be massively reduced and if it cannot go down through the soil only has  one alternative - to stay on the surface until it can be absorbed.

That could be a significant volume in extreme weather conditions which we are seeing more often. If the rain has nowhere to go, we can easily foresee a significant risk of flooding on land that is already questionable when it comes dealing with flooding. Think on my friends, think on.

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