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St. Mary’s Avenue

Area sold by John Todd to Alfred Wheeler in 1930 near Claridge's and it was resold in 1934 to the Millfield Estate Ltd.

Plan showing the original layout of St Mary's Avenue east side, with
the track of the Sidney Brook running at the bottom edge. A small area
was sold to the county council for road widening of Wellingborough Road.

The Rushden Echo, 4th February 1966, transcribed by Jim Hollis

St. Mary’s Avenue complaint

Who owns this plot of land at the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue, Rushden? Mr. Cobbler comments on the plot and the nuisance which is being caused by vehicles depositing mud on the adjoining footpath and roadway.

Who is responsible for this land?

The waste ground
The waste ground
The waste piece of land at the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue is in a disgusting state. This is a fact which can easily be established by looking at the land, but what cannot be established so easily is who is responsible for maintaining the plot in reasonable order.

Opposite the town’s main bus terminus – if you can describe three bus stops in a row a terminus – it is a right old mess to greet any visitors or resident come to that.

Although it is a fairly small plot, one assumes that it is valuable from a building point of view. I have been able to establish that a planning application to build shops on the site has been submitted to Rushden Urban Council.

If this is so one would assume that somebody would be keen to lay claim to ownership, but you would assume wrong.

The urban council does not own it, and a spokesman said they did not really know who did. It seems the plot has changed hands recently.

When I saw county council road making materials dumped on the plot and a workman’s hut I assumed it was the county council’s land. Wrong again.

County council workmen have used the land – with or without the owner’s permission I have no idea and I am not really interested – as a workmen’s depot for some time. But nobody at County Hall was prepared to accept responsibility for the state the land is in at present.

Basically, I am not complaining about the condition of the plot itself so much as I am about the state of the adjoining footpath and roadway.

If the county council is happy enough to use the plot as a depot and allow their heavy vehicles to churn the ground into a mud bath, they should accept the responsibility of making sure that mud is not deposited on the footpath and roadway – creating a danger and a public nuisance.

As I see it, it is the local council’s job to see that the county council accept their responsibility. In fact, I understand Rushden UDC has drawn the county council’s attention to this.

As for all the other people who use the area as an unofficial car park, it is up to the police to see that they do not create the same nuisance. I believe I am right in saying it is an offence to deposit mud and such on the right-of-way.

The ideal solution would be for the owners, whoever they might be, to get on with the job and build some shops. We could do with them in Rushden.

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