Cold Ashby Commentator


Welcome to Ashby Rambler's comments on news and issues affecting life in Cold Ashby!

Comments and views on any of the following or previous items are invited and can now  be expressed on the Guestbook page.


Save Our Village Pub Campaign:The Black Horse, Cold Ashby

Visitors to Cold Ashby will notice posters throughout the village displaying the above message.

The present owner has submitted a planning application for change of use of the ground floor pub area to temporary residential accommodation (for 3 years) in order to host a Ukrainian family (see this report and picture from The Northampton Chronicle and Echo).

There are, not unreasonably, objections to this in Cold Ashby. 

Although this is, on the face of it, a worthy humanitarian gesture, the motives of the owner are being questioned by The Cold Ashby Community Group, many parishioners and the Parish Council.

The Cold Ashby Community Group have registered the Black Horse as an 'Asset of Community Value' which should, theoretically, be an obstacle to any change of use.

Details of the last few months ongoing discussions can be read from the Parish Council Minutes if you click on the Parish Council link(visible in the right hand column of this website) and go to the library page.

Details of the planning application can be examined and commented on at

The reference is WND/2022/0437.

Read submissions to the planning committee from the Parish Council and from The Rambler.

UPDATE October 2022

The above application was refused on 24th October 2022.

There were 37 letters of objection and no letters supporting this application.


From the (draft) minutes of the Parish Council's November meeting:

Planning update: WND/2022/0437: The Chairman updated that this application has been refused. The clerk will chase WNC for an update on the previously logged enforcement case.


Black Horse now offered for Rent/Sale.


Owner has made an appeal to the Secretary of State against WNC's refusal to grant planning permission for change of use to residential.


The above appeal has been dismissed.


The present owner of the Black Horse has published a 'survey' in the Village Link, inviting views on the provision, presumably by him, of a 'village shop'.


Predictably, the owner has applied for change of use as a village shop and post office and this has not met with villagers' approval!

See recent article in The Northampton Chronicle and Echo:


Proposed Additional War Memorial

The Parish Council have passed the following resolution:

to include a sum of £3,500 in the special projects budget for 2023-24 (in case of an unsuccessful grant bid) for the purchase and erection of a suitably designed war memorial on the ‘village green’ or other suitable location. The memorial design and location are to be approved by the PC in consultation with local residents. The form of the consultation will be reported to the PC.

The Rambler has several objections to this which he has put to the Council.

His principal objection is that we already have two fine, registered war memorials:

  1. The Memorial Village Hall ( in its entirety).

  2. The Rolls of Honour in St. Denys Church.

Additionally, the suggested design (squat obelisk) and the mixed materials from which it is made are aesthetically unsuitable for any location in the village. The actual  ownership of the area known as 'the village green' is uncertain.This area also has electricity, water, telephone and broadband  services, tree roots and an old well - all lurking beneath the suggested site of this unnecessary memorial. Added to all these contra-indications is the frequent noise from passing heavy traffic.

This money, however sourced, would be better spent on the Memorial Hall itself,  particularly as the new trustees wish to display their own new memorial on the outside of the building and have to meet many expenses while updating and thoroughly improving the hall for our community use.

The council are now planning a consultation with residents at the next Parish Meeting (probably May 2023).

Hopefully, any remaining enthusiasm for this project will have dissipated somewhat by then!


From the (draft) minutes of the Parish Council's November meeting:

Councillor Peel and the Chairman agreed to review the War Memorial funding previously agreed in May 2022 at the next Parish Council Meeting (December 2022).


At the above meeting councillors agreed, in view of budgetary demands, to drop this resolution and possibly reconsider in 2024.

UPDATE January 2023

From Draft Minutes of December Parish Council Meeting:

22.12.7 – War memorial: Councillor Peel proposed the £3,500 previously agreed for purchase and erection of a war memorial from the special projects budget (23-24) is removed from the 23-24 budget. Councillor Roper requested the War memorial is added to the agenda of the April 2024 Parish Council Meeting. It was resolved that £3,500 would be removed from the 2023-2024 budget.
Proposer: Cllr Peel
Seconder: Cllr Bailey



The Ongoing Traffic Problem in Cold Ashby

At the Cold Ashby Parish Assembly on 11th May 2022 Councillor Richard Williams gave a comprehensive explanatory outline of how the decision to perform a traffic survey had been reached through the continued lobbying by the Parish Council and villagers.

The following is from the minutes of the meeting:

This expensive survey, paid for by National Highways despite its being outside their remit, indicated that decision-makers were finally listening and becoming more convinced of the case made by the PC over many years. The expensive changes to signage on the A14, indicating a route to DIRFT along the A14 and not through the village, was a small but very significant victory. In summary, this issue is no longer about whether or not a traffic problem exists in Cold Ashby. The authorities acknowledge that it does. The focus is now on the causes and the subsequent solutions. The support of the local MP (Chris Heaton-Harris) had been very helpful.

Having been involved in this campaign now for decades, the Rambler welcomes this breakthrough and thanks our PC and Councillors Richard Williams, Alan Peel and Rod Bailey for their efforts and this achievement.

The Rambler sincerely hopes that the eventually published results of the survey will not be affected by the fact that National Highways have funded the project!

UPDATE November 2023

From Parish Council Minutes October 2023:

 Highways, CAPC & WNC Traffic Meeting 8th September 2023:

Cllr RD Williams summarised the findings of the final version of the WSP Traffic Census conducted last year and the outcome of the meeting. Whilst some of the findings of the Census were open to differing interpretation, the total number of vehicle movements through the Village per week was in the region of 32,000, the majority of which were to or from junction 1 of the A14. It was acknowledged by the Head of Highways and Transport at WNC that Cold Ashby had a traffic problem, but he did not have any ready solutions. However, the Parish Council has been able to suggest a number of relatively low-cost mitigation solutions which WNC was currently considering. It was acknowledged that any more ambitious improvements would have to be funded in the main by the private sector, and in particular DIRFT, whether through Section 106 payments or direct investment in the local road infrastructure. It was resolved that the Council should engage direct with DIRFT and WNC on a regular basis to take advantage of any available funding at the earliest opportunity


From the draft minutes of the Parish Council's March Meeting:

Traffic & Accidents: Cllr RD Williams attended a meeting with Cllr Kevin Parker and Highways regarding traffic and accident issues, particularly on main street to the A5199. Carriageway issues, water on the road, speed limits, traffic direction and inadequate signage were discussed.
Agreed actions:
Gulley to be cleared to reduce water on the road.
Grips to be recut on the road out of Cold Ashby to the A5199.
Chevrons to be replaced and an additional Chevron to be sited.
Bend warning sign to be sited.
SLOW road marking to be added.
Lines to be re-painted – edge and centre.
Pot hole to be fixed.
Consider an application to the speed panel to reduce speed to 20mph.


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