Council to look at key sites for development to regenerate Wellingborough town centre

Wellingborough town centre
Wellingborough town centre

A working group could be set up to identify potential sites for development which could help regenerate a town centre.

Wellingborough Council is the largest owner of property in the town centre and has started looking at possible key sites for development which could act as a catalyst for regeneration.

Major redevelopment of the town centre last took place in the 1970s when the Swansgate Centre, then known as the Arndale Centre, was constructed while The Castle theatre was built on the edge of the town centre in the mid-1990s.

With the town expected to grow by about a third in the coming years as Stanton Cross and Glenvale Park are built, it has been suggested that the council needs to ‘find a reason for people to come to the town centre and then keep them there and keep them coming back.’

Members of the council’s development committee will be asked to recommend setting up a town centre regeneration working group to identify sites with potential for development in the short, medium and long term at a meeting next week.

A list of 23 sites have been identified, although the details have not yet been disclosed to the public.

A report for next week’s meeting states: “The council is the largest single owner of property in the town centre and as such has the ability to facilitate a number of key strategic developments to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area.

“In conjunction with the imminent delivery of the sustainable urban extensions (SUEs) now is seen as the optimum time to start to explore these opportunities.

“Such plans are ambitious and will take time to deliver; for example the crematorium project took a considerable time from inception to delivery.

“Contained within the commercially sensitive part of this report is a plan identifying 23 sites in and around the town centre with development potential of one form or another which are both in council and private ownership.

“A small number of sites are located outside the town centre but have been included as they are considered to be important to the regeneration of the area within which they are located.

“It would be impossible to progress all of the sites at the same time.

“Members are asked to recommend to council to set up a town centre regeneration working group to identify which sites should be developed in the short (0 to three years), medium (four to 10 years) and long term (10 years plus) as well as those sites which should be discounted from the appraisal process.

“Within each category members are then asked to prioritise the selected sites.”

The development committee meeting starts at 7pm on Monday, June 27, at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.