Future of Jacksons Lane to be discussed

Jacksons Lane car park, Wellingborough
Jacksons Lane car park, Wellingborough
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Supermarket giant Asda has refused to comment on speculation linking the chain to a town centre car park site.

Wellingborough councillors will discuss the future of the Jacksons Lane car park site at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, March 20).

Two developers have submitted rival bids for the site. In March 2012, the council announced Keepmoat Homes was the preferred bidder for the contract to develop Jacksons Lane, after beating off competition from 17 other developers.

Later that year Keepmoat revealed plans to build 133 homes – 20 per cent of which would be affordable housing for rent – a 200-space multi-storey car park and 4,400 square foot of retail units on the council-owned site.

But, in October last year another company, Quora Limited, made a formal bid to build a 35,000sq ft Asda, a car park, smaller retail units, small business units and an elderly care home on the site.

When the Telegraph approach Asda this week about the site, a spokesman for the supermarket said: “We do not comment on market speculation.”

We also approached Quora this week about its plan to bring Asda to the town, but they said they were not able to comment.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm however that we remain committed to their potentially exciting project and will continue to work with Wellingborough Council.”

Keepmoat Homes staff held a consultation at Morrison’s in Wellingborough in December, where plans for their proposals were shown to local residents.

The company spoke to the Telegraph this week about its proposals.

Martyn Johnson, partnerships project manager for Keepmoat, said: “We have worked with Wellingborough Council during the course of the last 16 months to agree the most suitable way of developing this important project.

“Our proposals for the High Street site will create a high profile gateway into the town centre and will mark the first major milestone of regeneration for the area, reflecting the aspirations of the Town Centre Area Action Plan.

“Our scheme has been designed to work in conjunction with the existing road recently constructed by the council (Derek Hooton Way) and includes 133 residential dwellings, a 200 space multi-storey car park, a retail unit and a large area of public open space.

“We are very much looking forward to the committee meeting scheduled for April this year where we are confident that our plans will meet the approval of members reflecting our partnership approach to the project and the level of detailed work and consultation we have carried out.

“There is a proven need for high quality sustainable housing in the area and our work with the council and the local public has resulted in an agreed strategy of how we may achieve this. Potential uses for the site were reviewed in detail as part of the initial tender process where it was agreed that a residential led, mixed use scheme would be the most beneficial way of creating a thriving, sustainable community.

“An increase in the population within the area will inevitably increase foot fall through the town centre, boosting local businesses and the new car park will make it easier for visitors to the area to fully utilise the local facilities.”