Rushden Lakes could become almost half as big again under new expansion plans.
The first stage of a bid to extend the shopping development on land west of the site – a project which will be called Rushden Living – has been submitted to East Northants Council.
If approved there would be almost 12,000 sq m of shops, restaurants and offices, as well as a new link road to ease traffic into the site.
The plans include:
- 8,222 sq m of A1 class units (non-food retail)
- 465 sq m of A1 (retail including food)
- 834 sq m of A1 or A3 (non-food retail)
- 232 sq m of A3 (restaurants/cafes)
- 557 sq m of B1 (offices)
- 1,487 sq m of B1 and B2 (general industry)
Most of the units will be single storey height and set out within a square with larger units to the west, east and south and smaller units in the centre.
The droposed development will also deliver a 782m-long privately-owned link road between the service road south of Retail Terraces A and B and Ditchford Road.
Ditchford Road will be realigned to facilitate the new road junction, with the southbound lane widened to two lanes on the immediate approach to the junction to provide additional capacity.
The link road will provide an alternative means of access to Rushden Lakes, with shoppers currently entering from the A45.
Queues to get in and out of Rushden Lakes, which cost £140m to build, have been the biggest problem for the public since it opened in July 2017.
Another 811 car parking spaces will also be created, bringing the total number of spaces to 2,730.
Footpaths and cycleways along the link road and within Rushden Lakes will also be created to facilitate movement between the development, the existing Rushden Lakes, Rushden and the Nene Valley, as well as a landscape scheme.
It’s anticipated that work could begin next year with completion in 2020.
The plans give no indications towards potential shops or restaurants which could open at Rushden Living, nor how many extra jobs it will create.
The first stage of the plans has been submitted by LXB3 Partners LLP.
Rushden Lakes itself is not yet complete with phase two, including a 14-screen multiplex cinema from Cineworld, due to open in early 2019.
Fans of the new scheme have had their say on the Rushden Lakes Facebook page.
Gabby Matthews said: “Fantastic news, so exciting for young people in the town.”
June Hale said: “Wonderful news, it’s all good for everyone, we just love the lakes!
“Can’t wait for the cinema and the rest that is coming soon.”
Others voiced their concerns about the proposed link road.
Chas Lee said: “That road off Ditchford Lane will ruin that road.
“It’s bad enough at peak times.
“They haven’t thought hard about that at all.”
Paul Garner said: “The infrastructure can’t cope now.
“The whole area is being overdeveloped and will sooner or later implode on itself.”
What do you think of the plans? Who would you like to see open a unit at Rushden Living? What do you think of the link road? Join the debate on our Facebook page.