Rushden Lakes retail park: Plans recommended for approval

Image of how the centre might look East Northamptonshire council will discuss the plans for the retail park on 10 October

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An out-of-town shopping development in Northamptonshire has been recommended for approval by planning officers.

The £50m Rushden Lake retail park, which would include 20 shops and create 1,500 jobs, is proposed for the outskirts of Rushden.

East Northamptonshire District council's planners are recommending the project is approved at a meeting next week.

But many surrounding councils have objected to the proposal.

'Strong objections'

Developer LXB Retail Properties, which owns the land, submitted the planning application in December 2011.

Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council, said the town had no objections to the plans.

He said: "Councillors didn't believe the development would be in competition with Wellingborough town centre.

"The choice of retailers would be different and in fact it could be a catalyst for Wellingborough's regeneration and a stepping stone to attracting big name retailers to the town."

Corby, Kettering, Northampton and Bedford councils have objected to the plans, fearing an adverse impact on their town centres.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, David Mackintosh said: "We are at a critical point in the development of our town and the proposed Rushden Lakes project could jeopardise all of this, putting jobs and investment at risk in Northampton.

"After studying the proposals our planning committee has raised a number of strong objections which will be heard by East Northamptonshire Council."

Planning officials said the project would regenerate the area, create jobs and new recreational facilities.

East Northamptonshire councillors will discuss the plans on 10 October.

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