Work on Kettering’s Cransley Park development could finally be about to start.
The five-unit development, just off Junction 8 of the A14, has sat vacant for years after developers St Francis Group changed its plans.
The site is predicted to give Kettering’s economy a £26m boost with a full-page advert in the Business Times saying the site will be completed by summer 2018.
Cllr Jim Hakewill (Con, Slade) said: “I have not heard anything specific but clearly the site has been prone to illegal encampments and it would be much better if it is developed.
“I am really disappointed that it is going to be more ‘sheds’ and I would have much preferred the original plans, which included a hotel.
“But it would be better to be developed than left as it is.
“There needs to be some serious thoughts about the junction when it is in use because it is going to catch some people out when they come down the hill [from the A43].”
Plans to build a business park including offices and a hotel on the former Cransley Iron Works site were first submitted in 2006.
Almost exactly one year ago, Travellers parked up on the site where they remained for several days.
Minutes from a meeting held by Kettering Council’s planning committee in 2016 said that officers would seek a rear access provision for residents of of the nearby Furnace Cottages to form part of the Section 106 obligation.
But the road does not form part of the plans.
Cllr Hakewill added that he didn’t think the access road for residents “was an unreasonable trade”.
Once complete, the site is expected to see almost 2,000 vehicle movements a day.
The units, which are being built speculatively, will range from 25,000 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft.