Plans for the site
Deanshanger, on the fringes of Northamptonshire is like many other sleepy country villages, except for many years the Oxide works has dominated the skyline. An enormous red brick factory, with huge chimneys belching out smoke throughout the day.

But now it is all gone!

Replacing the 28 acre site of pipes and chimneys is just empty space, and some of the original buildings, including the original schoolhouse, unused since 1939.

So what for the future?

At the time of writing, no-one knows. The last owners of the factory, Elementis plan to sell off the site, and have submitted plans to South Northants District Council to convert half the site into a housing development including 150 new houses. These will add to the 215 houses already under construction on land also previously owned by Elementis.

Over 600 residents viewed these plans, and concerns were raised over the adequacy of road systems, sewage systems, flooding, schooling, lighting and play areas as double the increase of housing development will place a severe strain on the existing sparse facilities.

"Villagers probed on future of site"
South Northamptonshire County Council responded by surveying the desires of local residents. Over 80% did not want to see the return of a big factory. A number wanted smaller scale industrial units on the site along with more houses, a police station and even a swimming pool.

Villagers also felt there was a lack of recreational areas and that they would like cycle ways, play areas and parkland on the site.

Responses came from over half of the 934 homes the survey was sent to.

Planning officer Andy D'Arcy said: "It's a very clear verdict that they don't want a heavy industrial development and we will be able to steer away from that when applications come in to develop the site. We are looking at small starter businesses and little light industry units to keep employment in the village."

Latest developments
Negotiations are to date still ongoing between the local Council, and the developers appointed by Elementis.

The latest news is that the proposed conservation area (under review from South Northants Council) is to be extended to include the High Street, and a number of other areas.

The review also included plans to environmentally enhance certain parts within the conservation area.

Councillor David Aaronson said, following the Council meeting on May 20th 2000:

"Whilst there are guidelines that are laid down when deciding on what to include in a conservation area, sometimes you have to acknowledge that a building, street or even a wall have an intrinsic value that cannot be qualified by rules and regulations.

It may seem a small step to many of you in the fight to protect our future, but it sends a clear message to potential developers that we will expect a responsible approach to any changes in our village and that they will also reflect the unique character that makes up Deanshanger."

For more news, watch this site, or visit the Deanshanger Heritage Society's website.
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