Delay over decision on Rushden Lakes development

The public inquiry, held in July, on Rushden Lakes
The public inquiry, held in July, on Rushden Lakes

A decision on the Rushden Lakes development is expected to be delayed after the planning inspector suffered an injury, preventing him from working.

At a 12-day public inquiry in July the inspector, Harold Stephens, heard evidence from development and planning experts, MPs, an MEP, district councillors and residents about the proposed development.

His report will now be submitted to the Secretary of State on November 18, slightly later than expected, and a decision on the development will be announced by February 13, next year.

If it goes ahead, Rushden Lakes will be developed on a 244-acre plot of brownfield land, with 31 acres of development land, sitting alongside the A45 on the edge of Rushden.

The proposal is for a mixture of shops and leisure facilities including a home and garden centre, shops on three terraces, a drive-through restaurant and space for up to four waterfront restaurants, a hotel and crèche, a boathouse/activity centre, improved footpaths and cycle routes and a lakeside visitors’ centre.

In October 2012, East Northamptonshire councillors voted unanimously to grant planning permission for the development but under planning rules, the application was referred to the Secretary of State who determined that the decision should be reviewed at a public inquiry.