Opposition politician calls for rethink on car park extension plan by Delapre Golf Club in Northampton

An overhead photograph of the car park released by Liberal Democrat Brendan Glynane earlier this week
An overhead photograph of the car park released by Liberal Democrat Brendan Glynane earlier this week

A Labour politician has joined a campaign against plans by Delapre Golf Club to extend its car park onto a site believed to be where the Battle of Northampton was fought in 1460.

More than 100 letters of objection have been received over plans by Delapre Golf Centre to extend its car park by 32 spaces.

The club came under fire for starting to remove a layer of top soil for the car park in January, despite not yet having planning permission to do so.

Delapre Golf Centre says the extra car parking spaces is needed to provide “extra capacity to staff and visitors to the golf course at peak times”.

Councillor Vicky Culbard (Lab, Delapre & Briar Hill), said: “I am very much opposed to this proposal for an extended car park as it would mean developing on some really important historical land.

“I have nothing against Delapre Golf Club, it is popular with its members and is very much used. My main concern is that we could lose a site of archaeological significance if the planning application gets approval.

“In the past, Northampton has lost many important artefacts and sites due to hasty or poorly informed opinions, a lack of understanding of the significance of an item or concerns pushed aside for development, these losses can never be replaced.

“Whilst no significant archaeological evidence has been found recently that doesn’t exclude the possibility of potential discoveries in the future. If discoveries are made in the future then the site could become a real tourist attraction. Lots of groups with knowledge about the Battle of Northampton are opposed to this proposal to turn it into a car park.

“This debate comes so soon after the selling of Sekhemka and there is a feeling that our heritage is now being lost forever. Our Victorian ancestors made an enormous mistake in demolishing Northampton Castle. We need to come up with another solution for Delapre Golf Club. I am very much opposed to this planning application.”