Land sale in Scotland gives hope to group campaigning to save Kettering woods

Save Weekley Hall Wood say they would "love" for something similar to happen here
Save Weekley Hall Wood are campaigning to save the woods. Photo by Dez DellSave Weekley Hall Wood are campaigning to save the woods. Photo by Dez Dell
Save Weekley Hall Wood are campaigning to save the woods. Photo by Dez Dell

A local campaign group hoping to save a Kettering woodland from development is hoping a land sale in Scotland could be good news for them.

Save Weekley Hall Woods is pushing to stop the plans for warehouses being built on the land, which have been submitted by Buccleuch Property Ltd, which is part of Buccleuch Estates.

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Buccleuch Estates is selling around 5,000 acres of land in Scotland to the local community to create a new nature reserve, and Save Weekley Hall Woods is hoping something similar could happen in Kettering.

Dez Dell, a lead in the Save Weekley Hall Wood community group, said: "We would love for something like that to happen.

"We have obviously got to get the planning application stopped.

"The problem is its prime logistics land even though there are lots of empty units elsewhere in Kettering."

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Dez said he hopes the group is making enough noise and gaining enough support to challenge the planning permission, which Dez said has gained 640 objections so far. The group's petition has also just hit 10,000 signatures.

The group are hoping that if the planning permission is rejected, the land can be turned into a country park.

The community in Scotland is buying land from Buccleuch Estates for £3.8m, and Dez said Save Weekley Wood is trying to work out the value of the land in Kettering.

He said: "We have no idea (how much the land is worth) that is something we are not sure of. Obviously, it's worth much less at the moment because there are currently no warehouses and they don't have planning permission."

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The land has been designated an area of possible development in the council's job creation strategy, Dez said, so the group is aware it has value within that plan.

If there is an opportunity to purchase the land, Dez said the group will look for support to raise the money.

If approved, there would be five warehouses in what is now woodland and a single warehouse in the wildflower meadow, it would use 40,000sqm of woodland and wildflower meadow. There would be 400 car parking spaces.

Save Weekley Hall Wood says the site is hugely popular with Kettering residents and 1,700 unique visits were recorded over two days in May 2020.

Buccleuch Estates Ltd have been contacted for comment.

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