Response from Rothwell Town Council to proposed NNC Transient Traveller's Site
I write to submit a formal response on behalf of Rothwell Town Council (RTC) to the recent correspondence received of plans to develop a 'transient traveller's site' on the boundary of our town.
We are extremely disappointed to have had this bombshell dropped upon us, especially at such short notice (10 working days) with little time to respond, especially as your "consultation period" includes the Half Term holiday and a 4-day Jubilee Bank Holiday.
Notwithstanding the above, we are somewhat angered by the fact that North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) is well aware (copies of correspondence attached) that RTC has had your proposed site on our radar for several years as a place for nature, trees and general human well-being. In more recent times we had hoped it would be an ideal place for Rothwell as a town and community to engage with NNC's plans for the Queen's Green Canopy Scheme.
We would go so far as to suggest that if the 'architects' of this scheme are unaware of RTC's position on this piece of land, then there is a desperate lack of communication within and between the departments at NNC.
As to the site itself, your plan is little more than wanton vandalism, especially at this time of considerable concern over loss of wildlife habitat and global warming connected to carbon sequestration.
Here at Rothwell, we have considerable knowledge of the history of this site, (historically known locally as Two Hills) briefly for now;
The land/site due to its topography has remained unmolested by humans for many decades. Prior to being dissected by the A14 around 30 years ago, it was only grazed by cattle and neither sprayed nor fertilised which makes it quite rare. To the ill-informed, this may look like a piece of rough ground but to those with knowledge of the subject, a few examples are;
- Brambles – home to Black Caps and increasingly endangered Sparrow colonies
- Nettles – Home to Butterfly and their larvae
- Thistles – Winter food for Finches
- Ground nesting Bumble Bees on site
- Ant hills – very rare these days
- Delicate wildflowers including wild Birdsfoot Trefoil
All in all, the land provides a home to a multitude of species of plants, birds, insects and mammals. This is all without having carried out an in depth survey as the Wildlife Trust should be allowed to do.
As for the stream, this is a tributary of the Slade Brook which rises in the parish of Harrington from the springs, all from a limestone aquafer (Lincolnshire type), extremely rare, especially in Northamptonshire. As you will know, the Slade Brook then flows through Kettering and in turn Wicksteed Park, before joining the River Nene. These areas all lie within a Clean Water Sensitive Catchment Area (see DEFRA/Environment Agency).
The area concerned is also the site of an ancient mill (more detail if required).
As to your plans for a traveller stopping site, you will be well aware that these people when passing through the area generally seem to prefer space within larger towns rather than Open Countryside – so we would suggest that due to the nature of old industries in the area, there are ample Brownfield sites within for instance, Kettering, Corby or Wellingborough etc.
Whilst concentrating above on the environmental elements of this site, all manner of other issues absolutely need to be considered such as flooding, air pollution, proximity to other housing, impact on already stretched amenities in Rothwell (and Kettering) such as schools, GPs and hospitals.
In conclusion, Rothwell Town Council will robustly defend any attack on this most precious place.
We formally request a full copy of the application for funding that is submitted to central Government and insist that all the detail contained within the attached document is included as part of this.
P.S. A consultation which you appear to have intended to keep from the public at large – is this democracy?!
CC: Philip Hollobone MP, Boris Johnson MP, Michael Gove MP, George Eustice MP, Mrs Lousie Holborow, Environment Agency, Wildlife Trust, Harrington Parish Council
Posted: Fri, 10 Jun 2022 08:58 by Town Clerk