M&S signs 20-year lease for Rushden Lakes

An artist's impression of the Rushden Lakes development
An artist's impression of the Rushden Lakes development

Minor amendments to secure two major retailers for the multi-million pound Rushden Lakes development have gone in.

The scheme was finally given permission in June, and now LXB RP (Rushden) Ltd has applied to East Northamptonshire Council to amend some conditions of the original plans.

It is hoped the non-material amendements will enhance the £50m mixed retail, recreation and leisure scheme for the site just off the A45 at Skew Bridge near Rushden.

The proposed amendments include the subdivision of one unit for Marks & Spencer and the amalgamation of two units for Arcadia.

A report submitted to the council states: “M&S’s 20-year lease requires that unit B8 can be subdivided into three separate units.

“While it is M&S’s intention that they occupy unit B8 in its approved format, given the length of the lease, M&S require a level of flexibility in the event that trading formats change.

“The proposed amendment would secure M&S’s presence within the scheme.”

The report says the amendments would only affect two out of the 24 units within the three terraces and there would be no change in overall floorspace.

A letter from Marks & Spencer supports the proposal, saying: “This amendment will secure Marks & Spencer’s presence within the scheme.”

Jon McCarthy from LXB said: “We have submitted a further application which includes a number of tweaks but primarily increases the number of restaurant units that we will be building to enhance the overall appeal.

“We want to encourage people to stay for longer rather than just a couple of hours shopping.

“We want people to stay longer and access all the facilities and amenities including access into the Nene valley, the blue way and green way routes and wider connections.”

Lakes scheme moves forward

Work has already started at the site which is set to be turned into a £50m retail and leisure hub. Enabling works on the former Skew Bridge site have been carried out, including clearing the land where it had become overgrown and cutting back the grass. The landscape has also changed with the ski slope being removed. It is hoped that the first phase of Rushden Lakes will be open by May 2016.