Rushden Lakes retail park: Eric Pickles calls in decision

An artist's impression of Rushden Lakes plan East Northamptonshire Council approved the plans in October

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Plans for a £50m out-of-town shopping centre have been called in by the communities secretary for further inspection.

The development would include shops, restaurants, a hotel and a lakeside visitor centre on the edge of Rushden.

East Northamptonshire Council approved the plans in October but the government will now make a final decision.

Corby, Kettering and Northampton councils opposed the plan, claiming it would affect their towns.

The development, which would include 20 shops, would be built on the site of the old Skew Bridge Country Club and dry ski slope.

'Welcome this announcement'

The council said Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had called in the application for further scrutiny.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council Steven North said: "The secretary of state has decided that further inspection is needed for the Rushden Lakes application.

"We're aware that this will result in a public inquiry presided over by a planning inspector. We're now waiting to hear how long the inspector needs to make a decision."

David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: "I welcome this announcement from the secretary of state.

"I am pleased that he acknowledges the significance of Northampton's economic regeneration to the wider region and the impact that this proposed development could have on us and the other towns in the area."

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