Large turn-out for public meeting on Wellingborough town centre car park

Last night's meeting (picture by Frederick Harris)
Last night's meeting (picture by Frederick Harris)

About 200 people attended a public meeting about the future of Wellingborough’s Jackson’s Lane car park.

Development of the car park will see hundreds of parking spaces lost from the town centre.

The site, which was first earmarked for development in 2006, will be made up of 85 houses and 29 apartments plus new roads and some car parking space.

However, this has provoked a lot of concern from people who live and work nearby, including a petition launched in opposition to the sale of the land which has already attracted more than 300 signatures.

And a meeting held at the United Reformed Church yesterday (Thursday) saw 200 people gather to have their say on the future of the site.

Among those who attended were Wellingborough Council leader Martin Griffiths and Wellingborough MP Peter Bone.

Cllr Graham Lawman posted a message on the Wellingborough News & Info Facebook page following the meeting, which said: “There was an excellent meeting at the URC tonight with a good turn-out of about 200 people.

“Thank you to each and every one of you for taking the trouble to attend.

“The meeting opened with presentations by Martin Griffiths, Valerie Anslow, Jon Ekins and Graham Lawman as well as Peter Bone.

“It was then opened to attendees to ask questions of the panel.

“It was clear that the meeting was overwhelming against the sale of the car park and the loss of parking with many good points made, including a potted history of the process.

“The meeting was told that any decision would be made by full council, but, with the work to be done, that may go into next year and be a special meeting at which people could attend and speak.

“The meeting was also told about the work of a new town centre regeneration sub committee, to include looking at the parking issue across the town.

“Residents were urged to sign the petition, contact the MP, their ward councillors and the BCW M.D. to register their views then attend any meeting.

“The meeting was excellently chaired by Rev Martha MacInnes of the church and thanks to the URC for hosting, note taking and the PA.”

Another message posted on Facebook also thanked people for attending and speaking at the meeting.

The post said: “An excellent turn-out this evening, around 200 people.

“Many thanks for everyone who attended and spoke with such passion.

“The good news is that the council will now bring this to the full council.

“However, this isn’t the end, we need to keep pressing our ward councillors to ensure this is kept high on the agenda.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Martin Griffiths said: “It was always my intention as chairman of the council’s resources committee to recommend that this decision on the sale of the land should be referred to full council, in the same way as the recent award of a long-term contract to Parkwood Creative at The Castle theatre.”