Titchmarsh’s PCC have pledged to work with the local community to “leave no stone unturned in its efforts to block any development” on either site. The PC has objected strongly to the sale of the development option on the Glebe Land site, and are urging the council to insist on full Environmental Impact Assessments of proposals for both sites, and to refuse any planning application for development on them.
Soon after plans for the first site emerged, the parish council set up a Glebe Land Working Party to co-ordinate the village’s response. This has recently been renamed as the Strategic Planning working party, in light of plans for a second site nearby. The working party includes the chair of the PCC, Stephen Barber, a parish councillor (Alex Grant), and several others with expertise in social media, planning and development: Julia Fletcher, Antar Howarth, Alison Parry and Jackie Rowe. If you would like to lend the working party your time and expertise, even if only an occasional basis, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In early June 2021 the parish council arranged an emergency meeting (held outside on the playing field due to Covid restrictions) to discuss the Castle Manor Farm proposals, to which all villagers were invited. Despite the short notice, about 65 Titchmarsh residents turned up, as did two of our three North Northamptonshire councillors, Wendy Brackenbury and Geoff Shacklock, who were clearly made aware of the strength of local feeling about the proposals for both sites.
So far, the working party has:
- Begun to build links with neighbouring villages to seek their support in opposing the plans. We have joined (on Zoom) several recent meetings of the Rural Coordination Group, a network of parish councils covering the villages around Oundle, which has been a useful way of connecting with them. We are also reaching out to Thrapston Town Council, which is opposed to both developments. We hope that by improving links with other councils we will be in a better position to oppose any planning applications, and to lobby for more robust planning policies to protect the beautiful landscape of the Nene Valley as a whole.
- Begun to arrange biodiversity surveys of all the countryside in the parish of Titchmarsh, to record its wildlife (and in particular its rare bird species), trees and hedgerows that could be imperilled by large developments. Several residents have received training from the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre and the local Wildlife Trust, and sightings of rare species are now being recorded online. People can record their own spottings at www.northantsbrc.org.uk/record/submit-a-sighting.
- Begun to investigate the possible impact of new development on views, both in and around Titchmarsh and further afield. Our research so far shows that long-distance views as far afield as Lowick to the west, Wadenhoe to the north, and Clopton and Bythorn to the east would be adversely affected by warehouses being built on the two sites. We hope to able to share images of the impacts on views soon – watch this space.
- Set up a website – https://savetheglebeland.org/ – with links to a petition against the Glebe Land site. It has since been rebranded as this web site, to reflect the plans for the Castle Manor Farm site nearby.
- A Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/savetheglebeland.org) has also been set up.