Former block of shops could be turned into affordable housing in Wellingborough

The block of shops in Lea Way, Wellingborough
The block of shops in Lea Way, Wellingborough

A former block of shops which had become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour could be turned into affordable housing if given the go-ahead.

The block of derelict shops in Lea Way, Wellingborough, was bought by Wellingborough Council last year after it used its compulsory purchase powers (CPO) to end problems on the site.

The site used to house a mini supermarket and several other smaller shops, but had stood empty for more than seven years.

It quickly became an eyesore and a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, causing misery to nearby residents and the council received numerous complaints about the area.

After the council bought the site to market it for re-development, plans have now gone in to bring it back to life and build 23 flats there, offering affordable housing aimed at small families.

Documents submitted as part of the planning application say feedback forms were sent to residents in the local area and the response was generally positive.

The documents state: “This approach was very successful with a high number of responses, the majority of these being positive.

“This is especially due to the re-development of a run-down site which is commonly seen as an ‘eye-sore’ to neighbouring residents.”

Speaking in October last year after the CPO was agreed by the council, Cllr Lora Lawman, as ward councillor for the area, said: “This is great news and will really make a difference to those living nearby.

“The empty, vandalised shops have been an eyesore and trouble hotspot for many years and the subject of a great deal of complaints.

“The council tried time and time again to negotiate with the landowner, but he never progressed any of the proposals or opportunities offered to him, leaving us with no choice but to step in and use compulsory purchase powers.

“Whoever develops the site now has a great opportunity to bring forward something much more suitable that will really enhance the area and improve the quality of life for residents.”

The plans state that the project team behind the plans is Quattro Design Architects Ltd, Barton Willmore (planning consultant), Wellingborough Council and Orbit Home Group Ltd.

The planning application has been submitted to Wellingborough Council and can be viewed on the council website via the planning pages at www.wellingborough.gov.uk.