Planning – Development site at Stowe Hill

A letter from Stowe Nine Churches Parish Council:

Development site on the A5 at Stowe Hill 

Application Number DA/2015/0195 – 5th Feb 2016

The application for this site was opposed by Stowe Nine Churches, Weedon Bec and Flore Parish Councils and by South Northants Council and Highways England, but was granted by Daventry District Council (DDC).  Objections included the unsafe access onto and off the A5, development in the open countryside and the long-term intentions of the applicant for more than one pitch or for use as a transit site.  Stowe Parish Council has also always had concerns about the ability of DDC to adequately enforce any transgressions of the permission.

The consent was for ’Use of land for stationing of caravans for residential purposes Oner Gypsy and Traveller pitches, formation of hardstanding, resurfacing of partially overgrown access track and conversion of existing building to dayroom ancillary to that use’ with a condition that ‘no more than one mobile home and one day van shall be stationed on the site at any one time’ and one that ‘The development shall not be occupied until highway improvement works to the access from the site to the A5 are compete…’

In April, Stowe Nine Churches PC raised the matter of the significant clearing of the site far in excess of that which had been approved and asked DDC to ensure that the development complied with the original proposal ‘and that additional pitches are not approved retrospectively’.

In May 2019 the Deputy Chief Executive of DDC said that there were ‘on-site unauthorised works to create a hardstanding beyond the planning permission’………..that ‘a retrospective/new application had been suggested’ and ‘their intention that additional vans will be coming to live on the site – they say in 2-3 years . He states that DDC were taking legal advice on their options but that there was no intention on the part of DDC to use that site as a ‘Stopping Place’.

Since May, Stowe Nine Churches has been supported by the Weedon District Councillors in endeavouring to ensure that DDC enforces the terms of the original planning consent, with little success.  We were told that no residents would be allowed on the site until the Highways England requirements for the entrance were met – which was a condition of the permission! -These works have not been completed, but there are now at least 5 static units on the site and rumours that up to 30 more units could be added once the necessary hard core has been delivered (3000 tonnes in 150 loads has been ordered from a local contractor!).

Executive Director (Community) Maria Taylor stated recently that the site is approved for residential use ‘for one traveller family only’ but that is not what the original permission said (see above).  There is a difference between one pitch (1 static and 1 mobile home) and one family – which could be a very extended family group in multiple caravans, and the consent was not personal to one family.

Our concern has always been that we did not feel confident that DDC would ensure that the terms of the original permission would be adhered to, on the basis that previous developments within the parish have been granted retrospective consent when works had ‘strayed’ from the original plans.

The Parish Council (Stowe Nine Churches) monitors all of the consents applied for and granted, as they occur and until the development is completed, and has called attention to perceived breaches as appropriate.  The system and rules should be made to work for everyone, not just those residents who are careful to comply with what has been granted.  If developers and land owners believe that they can do as they please, confident that they can get ’retrospective consent’ after they have built what they wanted, what is the point of the planning system?

Councillor Johnnie Amos, who has been dealing with this matter on behalf of the Parish Council, has been asked by DDC officers – where is the harm?  How many people care about what is happening? He has suggested that as a Parish Council we canvass the opinion of our residents.

If you feel as strongly as the Parish Councillors do – that ‘permission’ should mean what it says, then write to  and let them know how you feel.  The more correspondence they receive, the more likely they are to act. (Please copy in the parish clerk so that we can monitor the level of concern )

Circulated by Stowe Nine Churches Parish Council

Daventry District Council planning website direct link: Application Number DA/2015/0195

Reference Number: DA/2015/0195
Registration Date: 09-Mar-2015
Application Type: FULL PLANNING
Parish: Stowe Nine Churches
Main Location: Land At Stowe Hill, Watling Street, Weedon (Stowe IX Churches Parish), Northamptonshire

Case Officer: Mr B Allen
Proposal: Use of land for stationing of caravans for residential purposes 1 No. gypsy and traveller pitches, formation of hardstanding, resurfacing of partially overgrown access track and conversion of existing building to dayroom ancillary to that use. Part Restrospective.
Decision: Approval Full
Decision Date: 05-Feb-2016


Village Welcome Packs

Welcome packs are available for newcomers to the village.

The information in them helps people feel at home quickly.

If you notice that someone has moved in recently, get a pack for them delivered by calling:

Sue Morris, 21 The Green, Nether Heyford. Telephone: 01327 349387

Letters: RNLI Thank You Again – Sandy Davis

Thank you once again for your support

Mrs Davis has posted a £10 cheque that was given to her to the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston branch of the RNLI based in Yarmouth. They have once again written a thank you letter to her for her kind thoughts in supporting their lifeboats.

As we all know most of their support is raised by public donations. Therefore it is easy to see why they appreciate so much the support and money raised by so many dedicated and hard working people.

Further donations have already been given to Sandy and she would very much like to thank them for their generosity and kindness. All money raised will be donated to the Great Yarmouth Lifeboats who have done so much in saving lives over many years. Sandy is a dedicated collector for the RNLI and anyone who would like to donate, please contact Sandy on 07759 007279.

Sandy Davis

Published December Edition 2019

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Growing up in Nether Heyford – Jenny Lewis

Growing up in Nether Heyford 

I was born at No 3 Furnace Lane in 1946 and lived there with my patents until 1969 when I got married. My father was the eldest of 7 children in the Collins family, living at ‘Wharf Farm’, Furnace Lane where my aunty still lives. Lower Heyford, as it was known then, changes its name in later years because the village was often mistaken for Lower and Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire, where the air force is based.

My mother originated from Harpole, and she met my father at the ‘Heyford Feast’ and got married, living in Heyford for the rest of their lives. Heyford Feast was a long standing event. It always fell on the 11th October each year and consisted of a large fair on the village green with Swing Boats, Carousels and Dodgem cars, not to mention Roll the Ball, Shooting and many other amusements. Also, lots of stalls selling candy floss, hot dogs mint humbugs etc. The fair was run by the Abbott and Billing families and over the years we got to know them well and while in the village, their children attended our local school. I went to Heyford School when I was five years old and was educated by Mr & Mrs Woods, then by Mr & Mrs Warr. The school bell was rung twice a day at 9.00am and 1.00pm just as it is today. Although other nearby villages had their own feast dates, Heyford was the largest because of our fabulous village green. People used to come from miles around and Tom Rolfe, who ran the Foresters Arms, opened up the club room for dancing which went on late into the night.

We also had a very good Youth Club which was held in the village hall. I was club secretary and my friend Lynn was treasurer. The fee was 2 old pennies per evening and we often had an awful job getting the money in. We had regular dances, often on a Friday night with live groups. People came from all the nearby villages and Northampton and they proved to be very popular. As club secretary, I had a hand in arranging these events.

I have many things I remember about life in the village. A lot of my leisure time was spent with my cousins on my grandmothers farm, especially in the school holidays. My dad’s youngest brother, Reg and his wife Joan, helped my Grandmother on the farm and lived there with their four children. In the school holidays, my two eldest cousins and I would help out ad played for hours in the hay barns and fished in the nearby canal. The railway line ran next to the farm and we would go into the signal box with the signalman and watch the trains going by. If we were lucky, he would let us pull the levers to change the signal.

Haymaking was always good fun too. My uncle would put the bales on his trailer which was then hitched up to the tractor and us children would stack them in neat rows, getting higher and higher as we went. Then we would sit on the top with my uncles towing the load back to the farm. (This would not be allowed nowadays).

My father, Arthur worked at the Northampton Power station as a fitter until he retired. He was one of the many volunteers who helped build the village hall, giving up their free time whenever they were able to.

Also, in the school holidays I would go with my mother fruit picking on Mr Beck’s farm. He would come into the village with his tractor and trailer to pick up the many helpers (mostly women) to take back to pick the fruit off his many currant bushes and other fruits. At the end of the day he would transport everyone back into the village. He lived on the large estate when New Creation farm is today.

When my parents married, they lived in a small rented house with no amenities, no running water and an outside toilet. One of my lasting memories of this, is having local men come round on a regular basis with the ‘Muck Cart’ to empty the bucket. (No such luxury of a flush toilet). On one occasion I was sitting on the toilet as a young child and they arrived to perform this delightful deed. I shouted through the door, “I haven’t finished yet”. Back came a very calm reply from one of the men, “It’s alright my duck, I can wait”.

Mr Faulkner, the baker delivered the loaves of bread to various houses. It was always in the evening as he baked the bread first in Northampton. He would sometimes stop and chat and on many occasions my mother used to say, “When is he coming as I want to go to bed”. Suddenly the kitchen door would open, and a hand and arm would appear clutching the bread, put it on a chair by the side of the door and say “Coo-Eee” and he was gone in a flash. Thus, he was known as Coo-Eee The Baker. At Christmas time, it was even later, as many customers gave him a drink or a mince pie, and he would be a little worse for wear when he arrived.

Eventually, my parents were able to buy the house we lived in together with the one next door, after John Earl (who owned the property) died. They had the two knocked into one and modernised, and it still stands today.

After I left school, I went to work at the Express Lift Co in the office. This is where I met my husband, Bob. We got married in 1969 in the Baptist Chapel and bought a new house in Rolfe Crescent, which is on the Wilson Estate where we had two children, Christopher and Anna. Twelve years later we moved to our present home in the centre of the village, where we live today. Both our children are now married, and we have four delightful grandchildren, two of which attend Heyford School. This makes them the fourth generation in my family to go there.

I have lots of fond memories of living in this wonderful village, which has grown tremendously over the years with the Village Green as its heart. School sports, football and cricket matches were played on the green before the arrival of the playing fields, which all the village folk would turn out to watch regularly. John Smith’s cows would often escape and go charging over the green with John running frantically behind. Some people now refer to the green today as the park, but to us oldies, it will always remain our beloved village green.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little visit down memory lane as much as I have.

Jenny Lewis


Letter published in The Prattler – December 2019

The Story of Heyford (Extra): Dear Diary – December 1949

December 1949

Dear Diary,

I’m so excited. Christmas is nearly here. The chimney sweep’s been so that Santa won’t get his suit dirty. Mr. West, the coalman has delivered a sack of coal ready for a fire in the front room on Christmas Day, and I’ve asked mum if she can send Father Christmas a letter saying I would love a doll. I’ll do it myself next year when I can write better. I’ll hang my stocking in the fireplace though. I may get an orange, some nuts or coloured pencils.

I live in a Council house in Furnace Lane, on the left, with my mum and dad. My bedroom is at the back of the house and I can see right across the fields. I can see our long back garden with a little lawn for me and our dog, Sally, to play on and dad’s vegetable patch at the bottom, and all the way down one side is a line for mum’s washing on Mondays. I like Mondays because the copper in the kitchen where mum boils the washing, smells lovely and steams up all the windows.

After Christmas it’ll be 1950 and I shall be starting school because I’m four now. I want to go to be with other children, because there’s only me, but I don’t want to leave mum on her own all day. Still, she has my grandparents, a sister and brother and lots of good neighbours in the village so she can always visit one of them. School starts when the bell rings at 9 o’clock. I shall walk down Furnace Lane, with mum of course, and cross the village green on the footpath that runs from the corner by the chapel straight across to the school. There’s another one that goes opposite to the shops. If we took that one I might be tempted to jump the stream that runs along the side of Hillside Road. Still, I just remembered, the cows are on the green some days, chomping away at the grass so we might have to walk along The Tops. She said she’ll fetch me home for dinner at 12 o’clock but I have to go again at 2 o’clock. I’ll probably fall asleep in that time; it’s so quiet while dad’s at work. He’ll be home when it gets dark for his dinner, then perhaps he’ll have a
game of snakes and ladders with me before I go to bed at 6 o’clock.

I’ve started Sunday school and we have been learning all about the baby Jesus and singing hymns. When dad fetches me home we go up Church Lane to see Mr. Potter’s horse. It’s a big horse and it pulls the milk cart round the village so that we all have fresh milk delivered to our door. The lady who delivers it doesn’t need to tell the horse when to stop, it knows.

Well, I’m about to have one of my Nan’s boiled eggs with soldiers for my tea. She has lots of hens in her orchard and I help her collect the eggs sometimes. It’s about this time of year that they seem to die, maybe they get too cold.


Letter published in The Prattler – December 2019


The Prattler – December 2019


The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please get in touch.

The Newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Garden Club, Heyford Singers, the Bowls Club, the Village Hall and Heyford Picturedrome as well as the advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Please note that this issue covers December and January. The next issue will be
available on 1 February 2020.

In the meantime, we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year.

Letters: Rain, Rain, Go Away – Tony Clewett

Rain, Rain, Go Away
What a last three month’s weather we’ve had! In the first FIVE months of the year we had a total of 180mm of rain (7 inches) – that’s about 100mm (4 inches) less than average and for the next five months we’ve already had 440mm (17.2 inches). That’s nearly 2 and a half times as much! No wonder the roads were flooded and the Nene burst its banks for the first time this year. It was the intensity of the rainfall that was so remarkable: we had a huge downpour in the afternoon of 11th August when 32.6mm (1.25 inches) fell in a little over 2 hours and then again on 1st October when 26.5mm (just over an inch) fell during a thunderstorm in 2 hours again flooding the M1.

People are warning of a hard winter because of all the berries in the hedgerows –
well, we’ve certainly got off to a wet Autumn but with no frosts……yet!

Tony Clewett

Published November Edition 2019