Prime Minister backs lakes plan

An artist's impression of Rushden Lakes

An artist's impression of Rushden Lakes

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Prime Minister David Cameron has backed plans for the Rushden Lakes shopping and retail park by saying the Government was “behind economic development”.

During today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Rushden and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone urged the Government to approve the planned development.

The application, which will create up to 2,000 jobs, was granted planning permission by East Northamptonshire Council recently, but the Secretary of State must now decide whether a Government planning inspector should have the final decision.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, responded to Mr Bone saying: “It is this Party and this Government that is getting behind economic development.. As we can see in Corby, it’s the Conservatives getting behind growth and jobs for the future.”

Mr Bone claimed the Labour Party was opposed to the scheme after the Labour-run Corby Council opposed the application.

Conservative-run Kettering Council also opposed the scheme, along with Bedford and Northampton borough councils.

Mr Bone said: “Last week planning permission was granted for a large retail leisure park on derelict land at Skew Bridge between my constituency and the Corby constituency. It will create 2,000 new jobs; have a large Marks & Spencer and a stunning nature reserve.

“Labour are opposed to that development. Could the Prime Minister tell the House who the people of Corby should support? Christine Emmett and the Conservatives campaigning for 2,000 new jobs or Labour’s Corby Luddites?”

Christine Emmett, the Conservative candidate for the Corby and East Northamptonshire by-election, is also backing the scheme.

She said: “I was a buyer for Marks and Spencer and worked on many of their new stores. I understand how the introduction of high quality retail and leisure outlets boosts the whole local economy. The proposed new leisure retail park at Skew Bridge will provide new local employment, high quality retail stores such as John Lewis or Marks and Spencer and is ideally positioned to bring in trade from miles around.

“Local High Streets need not worry as there is always space for good local stores to complement the major outlets.

“It is a mystery to me why Labour would fight such a good idea, which provides new jobs, high quality shopping and leisure experience and brings in trade to the surrounding region.”