Campaigners organise protest rally against plans for car park by council staff in Northamptonshire town

South Northants Council offices in Towcester
South Northants Council offices in Towcester
  • Towcester Residents Group criticise plans for new staff car park for South Northants Council
  • Protest rally organised for 5pm outside current headquarters on Monday March 9
  • Campaigners say land is a haven for wildlife and subject to flooding
  • South Northants Council gave itself permission for car park saying it was “another great step towards regeneration of Towcester”

Campaigners fighting plans for a new staff car park in a Northamptonshire town will be taking part in a protest march.

Residents in Towcester are hitting out against proposals by South Northants Council for a new staff car park in Northampton Road near to the new Moat Lane council headquarters. The building is due to open shortly.

The feedback we have received to date from Towcester residents has been fantastic

Peter Mummery, Towcester Residents Group

The protest is taking place today.

A spokesperson for the Towcester Community Group (TCG), Peter Mummery, said he was delighted with the number of people who have so far said they would take part in the protest.

“Towcester residents, particularly from the Shires estate, have been angered by the proposal to use this public open community space, which sits by the River Tove,” he said.

“This meadow is inhabited by wildlife and regularly used by families, cyclists, runners and anglers. It is also vulnerable to flooding.

“The proposal would be harmful to this lovely meadow and would adversely impact upon its rural setting, which is a valuable leisure area. The proposed car park would also flood in extreme rainfall, which would make it dangerous for car users, children, disabled and the infirm.”

Mr Mummery said he hoped the protest would make South Northants Council sit up and take notice. People have been asked to gather at the SNC council offices at Springfields, Towcester at 5pm.

Mr Mummery added: “The feedback we have received to date from Towcester residents has been fantastic. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible who feel strongly about this as I do and are welcome to take part.”

Planning permission has already been granted by South Northants Council itself but it is subject to final approval by the Environment Agency.

Speaking at the time permission was given, portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration, Councillor Dermot Bambridge, said: “This is another great step towards the regeneration of Towcester.

“We have been working for some time to provide extra parking for Towcester, which we know is very important for residents and businesses alike.”

The council says measures will also be taken to ensure that the car park meets highway requirements, crime prevention safety standards, provides mitigation for ecology and ensures minimal impacts to local residents.