Councillors agree plan to protect economic sites

Key economic sites in Daventry District have been protected from redevelopment by Daventry District Council.

District Councillors agreed to introduce an Article 4 Direction in the ‘Strategic Employment Areas’ designated in Brixworth, Crick, Woodford, and the Drayton Fields, Royal Oak and Marches industrial estates in Daventry, as well as in Daventry town centre.

The Direction removes the permitted development right which would otherwise allow offices in those areas to be converted into homes without the need for planning permission.

The six Strategic Employment Areas were designated in the Council’s Part 2 Settlements and Countryside Local Plan, as sites where it is felt industrial and commercial space should be protected and encouraged.

The Local Plan also seeks to create a vibrant town centre in Daventry, and it is felt the loss of office space in that area could affect that. A range of more suitable sites for new housing in Daventry District are identified in the Local Plan as well as in the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.

The proposal to introduce the Article 4 Direction was subject to public consultations in February and September, when it met with a positive response.

Councillors agreed to introduce the Direction at the meeting of Full Council on 3 December and it will come into effect on 26 February 2021.