Despite a huge amount of support from local residents and local councillors the decision, which may surprise many people, was that the development should go ahead.
The voting resulted with 11 in favour and 6 against.
Councillor Philip Stearn who chaired last nights meeting spoke to the BBC this morning to help justify the decision.
He told the BBC that there will definitely be benefits to the town: “The People that will go into Raunds to have lunch, the caretakers. the gardeners, the painters, the decorators, the business’ in Raunds that might be better for it. But it’s difficult to quantify what precisely that will be. But there must be quite a lot of benefit in the growth. Particularly as this development has lots of office space and has their research and development being there. It will not be just a shed as such. It will be jobs. Genuine jobs”
When asked by the BBC, ‘What Swung it?” he replied to say that there isn’t anything officially, in planning terms which was strong enough to turn it down. In pure planning terms they don’t have the ability to say no. And if they do get to an appeal and an inspector, last time in Raunds it cost 150 grand and he didn’t want to go through that process again.
Those local residents who went along to the meeting have shown outcry and believe that a large part of the justification was due to being scared of Howden /Roxhill corporate lawyers and not wanting to face the potential costs of losing an appeal.
Cllr Stearn has said this was ‘Democracy at work’. ‘The members on the floor applied their own local knowledge’. ‘Arguments are good’
When asked by the BBC, ‘Why is it good for Raunds?’, Cllr Stearn replied with: “Any development is going to be good”.
Dawn Fraser commented on the Stop Warth Park Facebook page: Very sad that this gets passed yet the Drs surgery request for an extension gets turned down, of which has to stretch itself to serve all the new houses too? doesn’t make sense any more”
Stuart James comments: “The way that the Roxhill / Howden delegation were patting each other on the back in the car park will stay with me for a long time. I find it a personal insult to not just me, but my children who will have to live with the noise, traffic, pollution and sight of these tin sheds. ENC should be ashamed of their actions.”
Those Councillor’s who voted FOR the development are as follows (respective District Council Wards in brackets):-
Peter Wathen (Raunds),
Andy Mercer (Rushden),
Gill Mercer (Rushden),
Phil Stearn (the Chairman, Oundle),
Ron Pinnock (Rushden),
Roger Glitheroe (Kings Forest),
Pam Whiting (Higham Ferrers),
Barbara Jenney (Rushden),
Anna Sauntson (Higham Ferrers),
Alex Smith (Thrapston) and
Robin Underwood (Rushden).
In addition, Cllr Glenville Greenwood Smith (Raunds) chose to officially speak in support of the development.
Those who voted / spoke AGAINST the development are:
Helen Howell (Stanwick)
Lance Jones (Raunds)
Dudley Hughes (Woodford)
Helen Harrison (Fineshade)
Marika Hillson (Irthlingborough)
Geoff Shacklock (Barnwell)
Cllr Sylvia Hughes
Anne Dagen (WPOG)
David Prangley (WPOG)
Cllr Dave Munday (Stanwick Parish Council)
The entire Raunds Town Council
Members of Warth Park Opposition Group
And over 500 others!
How do you feel about this decision? Is Raunds just becoming one giant industrial estate? – let us know in the comments below.