Chance to vote in referendum on future vision for Rushden

Rushden High Street
Rushden High Street

People in Rushden will be going to the polls this time next month to vote on the future vision for the town.

On Thursday, May 24, people will have their say on the Neighbourhood Plan put forward by Rushden Town Council.  

The plan details hoped-for developments up until 2031 including where thousands of new homes will be built and also plans for job creation and community, leisure and open space.

The town council hopes the plan will help revive the town economically.

In the mid 1900s it was a thriving industrial town and a boot and shoe mecca, boasting more than 100 footwear factories.

In recent decades the town centre has fallen into decline, although last year’s opening of the Rushden Lakes shopping centre is drawing shoppers to the area from neighbouring towns.

There are also plans for 2,500 homes at land east of the town.

The plan states the vision is to “embrace the opportunities created by Rushden Lakes and the Rushden East developments and to strive towards a town that balances the needs of its people with jobs and infrastructure.”

At the polling booth residents will be asked the question: “Do you want East Northamptonshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Development Plan for Rushden to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”

If the Rushden Neighbourhood Plan receives a majority ‘Yes’ vote then East Northamptonshire Council will be obliged to adopt the plan and use it for guidance when making planning decisions.

The plan has recently undergone a six-week consultation period where more than 30,000 residents have been able to have an input into the final version which will be voted on.

The referendum is expected to cost the local authority £20,000 to administer.

The plan can be viewed at https://www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/downloads/file/10835/rushden_neighbourhood_plan_referendum_version