Could protesters win ‘underwater’ car park battle?

Land off Northampton Road in Towcester where a new car park is set to be built
Land off Northampton Road in Towcester where a new car park is set to be built

A protest over what could become the country’s first underwater car park could make a splash with the Environment Agency.

Council officers admitted this week they may not go ahead with the controversial Towcester plan if the environment experts continue their flood risk objection.

The revelation follows a major protest by residents, who have put up hundreds of ‘Say no to Car Park’ posters in windows throughout the town.

Their objections are based on the loss of a beautiful and historic meadow – and the fact that the 170 space car park would sit on a high risk category floodplain.

“We are coming up to the anniversary of the 1998 floods which badly affected Towcester. But it appears the council has not learned lessons and still pushes to develop land which is at high risk of flooding,” said Car Park Action Group campaigner Gail Caseman-Jones.

More than 60 people recently gathered on the site with banners to stage a demonstration.

South Northants planning committee passed the application in February. But now it seems they could be considering a sudden U turn. A spokesman told the Advertiser: “As it stands SNC could decide not to progress with the construction of a car park at that location, but in order to do so, the authority would need to be assured that there would be sufficient alternative car parking to satisfy the planned future growth of the town.”