Demolition of Stone Cottages Condemned
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Extracts from Hilda Faux's memories of a Village
The demolition which began this week on a row of cottages at Potterspury, has been condemned as another display of “bureaucratic steam rollering”.
The cottages which stand on the main A5, are to make way for a wider road junction with High Street.
Already, a fine renovated corner cottage has been demolished, and a young family still living in the row has less than five months in which to move out.
For nearby village, Mr Bill Woodhouse, the move is adding insult to injury.
It was five years ago when he first wrote to the Northamptonshire County Surveyor regarding the hazardous junction of High Street, Potterspury and the A5.
“It is a blind junction, especially turning into High Street from the Stony Stratford direction”, he said. “There have been many accidents there, and I was first prompted to write to the county surveyor after a neighbour’s car with children inside, was turned over”.
At that time a new housing estate, The Limes was being constructed on the site of a former cornfield bordering the A5.
“I suggested to the council that an access road to the village could be constructed there, at no enormous cost to the rate payers”, said Mr Woodhouse. The High Street exit could then have been closed off.
“The council replied that it would not be safe to lay an access road through a new housing estate where children would be. But I still maintain that it could have been made a lot safer than the situation which now exists, where children run about in this narrow street. Even the buses don’t come down here now”.
Mr Woodhouse then drew attention to the fact that a row of lime trees had been pulled down from the High Street, and an old stone wall had been demolished. “Now these attractive cottages, which must be very old, are to disappear”. “What is a village without its links with the past? – It is just another example of bureaucratic steam rollering”.
The corner cottage which is the first to go was vacated by Mr and Mrs Peter Makins last year. It was their first home, and they had spent many years restoring it. They had pulled out no less than seven fireplaces and uncovered a beautiful inglenook. Next door at number 19, Mr and Mrs Mark Colton, who have a six month old son, are anxiously searching for a new home.
“We heard around Christmas time that we had got to get out. It came as an awful shock”, said Mrs Glynis Colton. “We have spent a lot of time and money bringing this house round, and now we have got to look for somewhere else”.
The young couple say they cannot afford to buy another home, and have put their names down on the council waiting list. “We would like to stay in the area,” said Mrs Colton “but it is so difficult finding another place.”