Evening Telegraph, October 2000 article by Simon Deacon
Planners back joint wildlife and play area
DEVELOPERS look set to be given permission to turn part of a spinney into a play area.
Plans to turn part of the woodland in North Street, Rushden, into a play area are being recommended for approval at a meeting of East Northamptonshire Council's development committee next week.
Councillors had hoped developers of homes at the former Calor Gas site would be able maintain the spinney and build a separate play area. But now council officers are confident a satisfactory compromise has been struck.
However, some councillors are opposed to the scheme and are still calling for a separate play area to be built and the spinney to be maintained.
East Northants and Rushden town councillor Les Rolfe said: "I am not certain about the wisdom of having a play area in the spinney.
"Ideally I would like to see a separate play area which would allow the spinney to be a place for wildlife. A play area could discourage the wildlife we want there."
In a report to Wednesday's meeting, officers say the developer of the land, where 62 homes are to be built, will maximise wildlife in the area by removing dead timber and erecting bird and bat boxes.
The report says: "It is considered that the proposed works would provide benefit to both residents of the proposed development and the wider community.
"The developer has also confirmed that an area for play would be provided in a glade in the spinney that has already been cleared and would be overlooked from the proposed dwellings."
The play area would have wooden equipment.