Former highways depot in Rushden is up for sale

The former depot in John Clark Way, Rushden, has been deemed surplus to requirements by Northamptonshire County Council and it has said it plans to sell the land
The former depot in John Clark Way, Rushden, has been deemed surplus to requirements by Northamptonshire County Council and it has said it plans to sell the land

Work is under way to decide on the future of a former highway depot.

The former depot in John Clark Way, Rushden, has been deemed surplus to requirements by Northamptonshire County Council and it has said it plans to sell the land.

Rushden Historical Transport Society has leased part of this site on the corner of John Clark Way and Rectory Road from the authority for many years but, with the whole plot being put up for sale, the society is now looking into whether it can find a way to stay there.

In December, the group approached East Northamptonshire Council for the car park, storage and display area to be listed as an asset of community value as part of the Community Right to Bid scheme introduced within the Localism Act 2011.

The council approved the listing, although the county council can appeal against this decision up until March 7.

When a listed asset is to be sold, community groups have a six-month period to raise finance, develop a business plan and make a bid to buy the asset on the open market.

With the land now for sale, a six-week period is under way to allow any local community interest group to make a written request to be treated as a potential bidder for the land.

The transport society can put itself forward as a bidder for the site, although the deadline is not until next month.

A spokesman for East Northants Council said the thinking behind the Community Right to Bid scheme is that community groups and charities could take longer to get funding together than a private group so it gives them a better chance to raise the money needed within the allocated time.

A number of other pieces of land or buildings have been put forward to East Northants Council for consideration as an asset of community value since the act was introduced, including several pubs and a play area.

Chairman of Rushden Historical Transport Society John Sugars said: “We are making inquiries and have ideas about how it could be used.”

Mr Sugars said the society had saved the train station opposite the plot of land now for sale and signs have gone up saying Save Our Goods Shed in the town. They bought the station in 1996 after many years of campaigning to save the building from demolition.

They have since restored it and it is now used as a museum and clubhouse.

The society organises a range of events during the year, and this year will be the group’s 36th Cavalcade, which is taking place on May 3, 4 and 5.

For more details visit www.rhts.co.uk or www.cavalcade.org.uk.