Updated plans for second phase of Rushden Lakes could be approved next week

The revised plans for Rushden Lakes
The revised plans for Rushden Lakes

Revised plans for the second phase of Rushden Lakes have been recommended for approval.

The application for a leisure building to include a 14-screen cinema, indoor trampoline facility, indoor climbing facility and restaurants, as well as erection of retail units, cycle hire facilities and associated access and landscaping will be discussed next week.

The plans which have already been approved

The plans which have already been approved

The original proposal for the leisure terrace was approved by East Northants Council last March, but LXB Properties, the developer behind Rushden Lakes, went on to reveal plans for an extended leisure terrace in August.

Speaking at the time, Giles Haywood of LXB said: “This revised scheme will provide a better variety of restaurants, improved leisure facilities and further well-known stores to the destination.”

The revised plans include a 14-screen cinema rather than 12, three additional restaurants, three additional shop units and 461 extra car parking spaces.

However, the plans no longer include a hotel, leisure club, creche and bowling alley.

If the new proposals are approved, the number of jobs created in the completed development would increase from 2,505 to 3,760.

It would also see the number of retail units increasing from 28 to 36, the number of restaurants going from 15 to 18 and the number of car parking spaces increasing from 1,428 to 1,946.

A report prepared for next week’s meeting says construction of the first phase of the major retail and leisure site is progressing well, with terraces A, B and C nearing completion externally and with internal works being carried out.

Highways works to upgrade the A45 adjacent to the former Skew Bridge site have started, and it is hoped that Rushden Lakes will open for business this summer.

It also states: “The applicant has secured land to the west of the site which incorporated a former water purification plant and surrounding grassland.

“This has allowed the applicant to increase the size of the site and its retail and leisure offer.”

However, the latest application has divided opinion.

Kettering, Corby and Northampton Borough Councils have objected to the plans, as well as Bedford Borough Council.

Wellingborough Council has said it supports the plans subject to mitigation measures for Wellingborough town centre.

Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough town councils, as well as Irchester Parish Council, have said they have no objection.

Rushden Town Council has given two reasons for objection - conflict with the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy and concern at the loss of the previously permitted hotel element.

The report due to be considered by councillors concludes: “The arguments for and against this proposal are finely balanced.

“This report identifies and analyses the key issues that need to be balanced in coming to a recommendation.”

Officers have recommended that planning permission is granted subject to conditions and completion of a Section 106 agreement to secure mitigation measures.

The application will be considered by East Northants Council’s planning management committee at a meeting starting at 7pm on Wednesday (February 8) at the council offices in Cedar Drive, Thrapston.