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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th January, 1947, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Battle of Garage for Number 113

Still chary of granting permission for garages to be erected in Council house backyards, the Housing Committee of Rushden Urban Council had another defeat on Wednesday.

In its report the Committee advised the Council not to allow the tenant of 113 Irchester-road to put up a garage, access to which would be from The Crescent. The same tenant failed in a similar application some time ago.

Coun. A. F. Weale, Chairman of the Housing Committee, observed that the resolution was “the outcome of the Committee’s investigations.” He was promptly challenged by Coun. W. J. Sawford, who wanted to know on what ground the application had been dismissed.

Pointing out that the Plans and Highways Committee had approved the plans of the garage, Coun. Sawford said it was a waste of time when one Committee overrode the decision of another, and he was not sure it was in order.

Coun. A. H. Bailey who presided said the Housing Committee was perfectly in order. The Highways Committee was concerned with plans and the Housing Committee was obliged to deal with the question as it affected Council houses.

Confirming this, the Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) said that although the plan was passed as being in accordance with the by-laws, the Housing Committee could still act as landlords.

“Unsightliness”

Coun.Weale said the application was a very old one, which had been renewed. Behind the block of houses in Irchester-road was The Crescent, where the road and pavements were very narrow. There would be danger to pedestrians when a car was going in or out of a garage.

“I am, as Chairman of the Committee, obliged to submit the report of the majority of the Committee,” added Coun. Weale.

Coun. Sawford: Do I understand that the next-door neighbour has a garage?

Coun.Weale: There is a garage next door which has been there quite a number of years, but I never believe that two blacks make a white.

Coun.Weale also spoke of the unsightliness of huts and garages on the estate.

“Incorrect”

Coun. S. A. Lawrence said he was sorry that, as a member of the Housing Committee, he had to call the Chairman of the Committee to task.

He could not agree that Mr. Weale had given a correct interpretation of the surveyor’s report on this matter. Having visited the spot at the very moment when the tenant of No. 111 was getting his car into his garage, he could not agree that a correct statement of affairs had been made.

In his opinion if there was one spot where they could allow garages to be erected with safety, it was there. The road was 13ft. 6ins. wide and there was no obstruction.

He quite agreed that there should be some control of unsightly wooden huts, but the garages already on the estate were to be preferred to other types of wooden buildings, and if he lived in The Crescent he would prefer to see a line of them, because they gave a measure of privacy.

I cannot understand,” said Coun. Lawrence “how it can be that for so many years a garage has been allowed at No. 111, and one is now refused next door. There seems to be no consistency in the matter whatever.”

Coun. R. E. B. Sargent: I drove my car round there this afternoon, and found no trouble whatsoever.

Coun.Weale: I have given the reason why the Committee refused the application, and I leave it at that. Possibly before long you will have cause to regret you have opened the door to all this kind of thing, and you will have no control whatever.

When Coun. Sawford moved the reference back of the minute, Coun. A. A. Allebone seconded. The Crescent, he said, looked exactly like a service road.

The houses there stood higher than those in Irchester-road and the tenants would have a better outlook if they looked down on to some well-built garages than if, as at present, on backways with washing and dustbins.

The amendment was carried by a large majority.

Permanent Houses Ready Soon
Good News for Rushden

Coun. A. F. Weale told Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday that they were nearing the time when some of the permanent houses on the Higham-road estate would be completed.

“If only we can get some decent weather,” said Mr. Weale, “possibly within a few weeks we may have a few of these houses to let and be able to deal with some of the outstanding cases.

“I hope very shortly we shall be able to make good progress with the steel houses.”

The lay-out of permanent pre-fabricated houses on the Newton-road estate was amended after criticism by the Ministry of Health, reducing the number of houses from 74 to 66.

Tenders for erecting the houses are being negotiated between the Trusteel Corporation and three firms of builders.

Land Purchase

Steps are being taken to secure the compulsory purchase of certain plots in Upper Queen-street in order to give a suitable frontage to the building site which is being obtained from Mr. R. Marriott. The owners of these plots cannot be traced.

In order to save delay in developing this site the idea of a second access road from Upper Queen-street has been dropped. It is hoped that work will begin during the summer of this year.

Wellingborough Urban Council has suggested an agreed policy on the allocation of Council houses with special reference to applications from persons whose employment necessitates travelling into another area. The Rushden Housing Committee, however, felt that each application should be considered on its merits; although an exchange of information to reveal duplicate applications might be useful.

Permission was given for Mr. C. Packwood to erect a house in Newton-road on a site where two houses were destroyed by bombing.

Progress

The Surveyor (Mr. J. W. Lloyd) reported that 57 licences for building repair and maintenance work were issued between November 15th and December 13th.

A building report for 1946 showed that 52 permanent houses were commenced on the Council’s estates, and 50 prefabs were completed and occupied. Thirty houses were completed by private enterprise.

During the year plans were approved for 28 houses, 12 bungalows, 16 additions to houses, 13 additions to factories, two workshops, two shops, seven additions to shops, 36 garages, a food store, an engineering works, a school improvement and eight sheds or greenhouses.

Tenders for the internal decoration of 158 houses on the Newton-road estate were accepted as follows:- H. Freeman (59 houses) £516; H. W. Wilson (36 houses) £382; A. w. Jacques (63 houses) £578.



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