New plans for shops and houses on former factory site in Irthlingborough

The site in Church Street, Irthlingborough

The site in Church Street, Irthlingborough

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Revised plans to build shops and housing on a former factory site have been submitted.

A new planning application has gone in for a mixed retail and residential development where the Express Works factory used to stand in Church Street, Irthlingborough.

The proposed site for the development

The proposed site for the development

Planning permission had been given for the retail element of the scheme in May 2015, with Central England Cooperative Limited planning to open a supermarket in the larger retail unit.

But documents submitted as part of the revised plans by Paragon Developments say it has been necessary to reconfigure the permitted scheme to ensure the plans move forward.

If approved, the larger unit would still be run by the Co-op but it would be a smaller convenience goods foodstore.

The remaining retail units are proposed as smaller feature units for either a small retailer or coffee shop/restaurant.

Inside the Express Works factory after the blaze in 2007

Inside the Express Works factory after the blaze in 2007

The new planning documents state: “The current proposal, providing a more modest scale of foodstore with the balance of the scheme being made of other non-food retail development, now represents the only viable means of delivering new retail development on the application site.

“The application proposals will make a contribution towards enhancing the vitality and viability of Irthlingborough town centre, albeit that the benefits that would have arisen from the provision of a major new foodstore within the town centre are now no longer capable of being achieved.

“The grant of planning permission for the application proposals will therefore produce tangible benefits for Irthlingborough town centre which, as a centre in decline, is now in need of even more support given the council’s decision to grant planning permission for the out-of-centre Aldi store.”

The revised plans are for two retail units, with one Class A1 retail unit of 930 square metres, subdivided into three units, and one mixed use class A1/A3 unit of 103.55 square metres, as well as 20 two-storey dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping.

East Northants Council will consider the plans for the former factory site, which saw the factory building badly damaged by fire in 2007 and has been vacant for eight years.