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Eyesores 1970s
Unsightly property

News Echo, 30th January, 1975

Mothers Angry Over Decision On Waste Land

 Mothers are “disgusted” at a council decision to shelve a plan to buy and develop dangerous and unsightly waste-land.

  East Northamptonshire District Council was to have bought the land, in Rushden’s South Ward, with a view to making it into parkland, at an estimated cost of £21,000.  This scheme was knocked on the head last week by the council’s policy and resources committee along with another project, to meet central government loan sanctions – the amount an authority is allowed to raise by loans.

  Loan sanction for this year and next by the council is £78,000 – that’s about £38,000 under what it wanted to spend – hence the cuts.  Councillors will however, pressure the owners of the land to do something about it – if they can find them.

  Mrs. Linda Morris lives at 10, Oakham Close, Rushden, which overlooks the waste-ground, tip, and water-filled gravel pit.

  “There is no fencing, nothing to stop small children from wandering there.  During school holidays there are no end of children playing there, young and old.  I think it’s disgusting the way the council has decided not to go ahead with a parkland.  Something will only be done when there’s an accident,” she said.

  Mrs. Morris, who has a son, said nothing has been done about the condition of the waste-land since she moved to her home six years ago.  “About two years ago somebody started a petition to try and get something done.”

  Her neighbour, Mrs. Linda Caven, of 11 Oakham Close, Rushden said “Had we known nothing would have been done about the land before we moved here seven years ago, I doubt if we’d have come,” she said.

  Mr. Denis Millman, headmaster of nearby Whitefriars Junior School, said the land concerned him.  “It means more supervision to make sure children are directed away from that area during lunch-time and when they go home.”

  Councillor Allen Goulsbra, chairman of the council’s policy and resources committee said it was decided to shelve the project because it was “considered to be the least priority.”

  “If we had gone ahead and bought it, we have no immediate use for the land.  The figure of £21,000 is just an estimate – it might have been double that.  The owner hasn’t been approached.

  Another project to be scrapped is, ironically, a play area, with equipment at Grangeway, Rushden, which is just across the road from the waste-land.

News Echo, 27th February, 1975

Child gangs add to damage of derelict ‘dangerous eyesore’

  A derelict building in Rushden town centre is an eyesore, a nuisance and a danger to traffic according to the people who live nearby.

Adult Schools  The Rushden Adult Schools, owned by the County Council, are on the corner of Duck Street and Wellingborough Road.  They have been empty for the past three years and a building next to it has stood derelict for nearly 20 years.

  Mr. Brian Cave lives directly opposite the building at 71, Wellingborough Road: “It’s an eyesore.  It’s also extremely dangerous.  The building is getting worse all the time.  It is due for demolition, but there seems little chance of that happening,” he said.

  Another person who overlooks the building is Mr. Terry Pott who runs the newsagents shop on the corner of St. Margaret’s Avenue.  “It must be valuable land, there are outbuildings that go into Duck Street.  It could be put to some use.  The building is on a blind corner and it is in dreadful condition.  It is deteriorating and nothing is being done to it,” he said.    “I can’t see why they can’t pull it down and put the land to some use.  They could landscape it to make a small green area,” he said.

  Mr. Victoria Clarke, of 75 Wellingborough Road also feels it should be pulled down as soon as possible.  “It is a real eyesore.  More and more windows are being broken then boarded up.  At night you get little gangs of children going up there and you can hear the glass breaking.  There are loads of broken slates on the roof and a few more come loose when there is a high wind.  If they fall off, they could easily hurt somebody,” she said.  “I want to see it taken down and left clear if they haven’t got the money to do anything with it.  If they would just clear it, grass it and perhaps put a seat there for old people I would be happy,” said Mrs. Clarke.    “Only the other day a passer-by called to a boy who lives two doors up to bring his dog out.  A rat had just run out of the building and across the road.  The dog cornered the rat and killed it in the garden next door.  We have had the rodent control man round here before, that was about a year ago,” she said.

  Looking on to the battered, boarded-up front of the building is not a problem for Miss Peggy Cave, her house is right next door to the Adult School and the two buildings share a common roof.   “I can’t see it until I come out of the house, but it is dreadful, it is really ugly and the damp from it is affecting my house.  When they pull it down they will have to be careful because my house and the Adult Schools have a common roof.  They will have to do something about the end wall as well. I can’t do anything to the outside of my house until they have pulled the Adult Schools down,” she said.

  A spokesman for the county council said the building was due for demolition but they were having problems because of the adjoining house.  There is no date fixed for the work to start and afterwards, it will probably be landscaped.

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