Councils lock horns over Daventry Arm
DIFFERENT TIERS OF local government in Northamptonshire are at loggerheads over a proposed new branch of the Grand Union Canal to Daventry.
Launched some years ago, the planned Daventry Arm would head southwards from the canal’s Main Line east of Braunston Tunnel, climb through a boat lift or locks to run alongside Daventry Reservoir, ending on the north side of the town. Preparation work has included a new bridge (currently a pedestrian underpass) built during road improvements, and detailed planning.
However, while Daventry District Council ( Conservative controlled) has backed the canal, Daventry Town Council (a less political body with just four party members – three Labour, one Tory – out of 17) has opposed it. Recently, Labour District Councillors tabled a motion calling on the District to note the costs and lack of external funding attracted, and stop work pending consultation and a referendum. Conservative Councillors responded that funding had yet to be sought, and the canal would enhance the town. The motion was defeated.
The District has now launched a consultation on an amended planning application, with locks instead of a lift, fewer bridges, and stopping short of the proposed terminus. The Town Council responded by voting against the amendments, taking the opportunity to raise concerns about the lack of a business plan, and maintenance costs which they fear would be borne by residents.