Supermarket plan for site of former Irthlingborough shoe factory

The plan for the former Express Works site in Irthlingborough includes a Co-op supermarket

The plan for the former Express Works site in Irthlingborough includes a Co-op supermarket

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A supermarket and houses could be built on the site of a former shoe factory in Irthlingborough.

A planning application has been submitted to East Northamptonshire Council for the comprehensive development of the former Express Works site in Church Street.

The plan for the former Express Works site in Irthlingborough

The plan for the former Express Works site in Irthlingborough

There was a huge fire at the Express Works shoe factory in 2007.

Plans were submitted three years later for the site but these never came to fruition.

A spokesman for the firm behind the latest plans, Paragon Property Developments, said: “The development will deliver significant new investment to the town centre, create a significant number of jobs and provide a modern new supermarket in the heart of the town centre, together with another smaller retail unit and 20 new houses, all of which will be affordable and available to local people.

“The supermarket will be operated by Central England Co-operative and will significantly extend and enhance food shopping facilities within the town to the benefit of local residents, allowing people to shop locally and without

The Express Works factory after the fire in 2007

The Express Works factory after the fire in 2007

the need to travel beyond Irthlingborough to carry out their weekly shop.

“The new housing will be a mixture of two and three-bedroom affordable houses.

“Detailed negotiations are on-going with an affordable housing provider and it is anticipated that a transaction will be concluded shortly.

“The development proposals have been carefully formulated and have been the subject of extensive discussion with council officers and have also been discussed with members of both the district and town councils.”

Paragon development director Ben Sheppard said: “The Express Works site has been derelict for many years and is a real eyesore in the centre of the town.

“We believe our proposals will bring the site back to life and revitalise the town centre for local residents and visitors alike.

“The new retail development will create a number of new job opportunities, the great majority of which are likely to be taken by local people, while the new housing will also bring more people into the town centre.

“The Government is committed to focusing new investment into the country’s town centres and previously developed brownfield sites and we believe our development will make a major contribution to revitalising Irthlingborough

town centre, enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and deliver a high quality development scheme in the heart of the town.

“We understand that the council hope to determine the application in September and if planning permission is granted we would hope to be able to start work on site early in the new year.”

Acquisitions manager at Central England Co-operative Paul Shepherd said: “We are very excited to be opening a brand new supermarket which will provide 7,000 sq ft of shopping space to the local area.

“We take pride in being a community retailer, and the new store will create new jobs in the locale, as well as offering benefits like a wide range of products and services, membership and community dividend to local community groups.”