Major housing scheme for town centre is rejected by councillors

Jackson Lane car park
Jackson Lane car park

Plans to build 133 homes on the Jacksons Lane car park site in Wellingborough have been refused.

Wellingborough Council’s planning committee turned down the application to build homes and a multi-storey car park on the site at a meeting on Wednesday evening, April 3.

The committee was asked to grant planning permission for Keepmoat Homes to build on the site.

The issue of which developer will actually build on the site will be made by the council, which owns the land, at a later date.

Quora Development Ltd has also made a formal bid for the site, to build a 35,000sq ft for Asda, a car park and a care home.

During recent behind closed doors talks by the council’s resources committee, councillors voted in favour of holding talks with both Keepmoat and Quora. Council officers were also instructed to meet with representatives from Asda within the month in order to gain more information about the supermarket chain’s intentions for the town.

But the Keepmpoat development received a huge blow last night when it was refused by the planning committee.

Cllr Tim McGuire said: “It’s not really what I want to see in our town centre. There’s too many problems in this report for us to make this decision for the borough council.

“We’ve got to get this right. I don’t want to look back in a few years and think I made a decision to build an eyesore. I want the best for this borough.”

Cllr Geoff Timms said: “What I’ve seen of this development is that people don’t like it. I think we should refuse it, or we should go back to the developer and make sure that we get something that Wellingborough really wants.”

Cllr Martin Griffiths said: “I believe we should listen to the people of Wellingborough. I was amazed when we first got this report through by how much objection there was.

“I have always thought that this site should be an extension of the town centre. This was the only option at the time, maybe that will change in the future.”

Cllr Malcolm Waters did speak in favour of the application. He said: “Wellingborough people need homes. I take my responsibility for Wellingborough very seriously. I was born and bred in Wellingborough and I have seen many changes. I have seen the Queensway Estate turn from grass into what it is today. It supplies many people with homes.

“I have seen the Hemmingwell Estate turn from grass into homes. We all need homes. Wellingborough needs homes. This, I believe, is a very good application for homes on this site.”