Recycling centre plan for old prisoner-of-war camp

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A FORMER prisoner-of-war camp in the Northamptonshire countryside could soon be converted into a recycling centre.

Plans have been submitted to Daventry District Council to open the centre at the former camp in Byfield, to the south -west of Daventry.

The site, in Boddington Road, has been used as a vehicle dismantling centre since the 1970s, but during the Second World War, it was used as a prisoner-of-war camp, with most of the inmates being captured Italian soldiers.

The latest plans for the 0.7 acre piece of land would see non-hazardous waste recycled on the site and the company behind the proposals, Daventry-based Eco Baughns 2000, said that if it was given planning permission for the development, the present vehicle dismantling and recycling work on the site would “largely cease”.

In documents which have been submitted to the council, the firm also said the development would help improve recycling rates in Northamptonshire.

They said: “The facility will support the council’s need to increase the rate of recycling in the county and divert waste away from landfill.

“The enclosed nature of the site minimises the impact of the operations on its surroundings and measures will be taken to minimise impacts from the site to avoid creating a nuisance to the surrounding area.”

The firm also said that if it was given planning permission, the site would receive no more than 25,000 tonnes of waste a year.

A new building would be built on the site to provide storage for the waste as well as a sorting area and a site office.

It has been estimated that the depot would create 16 jobs and the site would be open from 7am until 6pm from Monday to Friday and from 8am until 1pm on Saturdays.

Byfield’s prisoner-of-war camp was one of several which were built in Northamptonshire during the war, including those in Weedon and Boughton.

It was mainly used to house Italian prisoners of war, who at times were allowed to leave the camp to work on nearby farms.

Few of the original buildings from the war still survive on the site.

English Heritage has estimated that there were more than 1,000 prisoner of war camps in Britain during the war.

A decision on whether the plans for the Byfield site should be allowed to go ahead will be made by council officials in the coming months.