A rejuvenated car park and more shops look set to be destined for the southern end of Corby’s town centre.
Major plans to create a southern gateway have been approved by Corby Council planners.
The plans by Sovereign Centros will see the eyesore multi-storey car park knocked down and a new department store built, as well as a retail extension to Market Walk.
Leader of Corby Council Tom Beattie said: “Corby Council is committed to further developing Corby borough and in particular continuing regeneration plans to Corby town centre.
“These newly approved improvements for the multi-storey car park area are a welcome addition to the ongoing redevelopment of our town centre and will attract further investment to our shopping realm.”
The new shop units will be built only when an occupier for the large anchor store is found.
The new surface-level car park will be made up of 71 retained spaces from the adjacent gym, 194 spaces created in the first phase of works and 211 spaces in the third phase, on the site of the current multi-storey.
The total size of the site is 2.5 hectares - equivalent to two football pitches.
A planning statement read: “The multi-storey car park does not provide a welcoming environment for those visiting Corby town centre and it is proposed to remove this building and replace it with surface car parking.”
The site will also have a ‘green wall’ to improve the visual aspect of the entrance.
Entrance to the car park would be from Westcott Way, with people exiting on to Anne Street.
No objections to the plans were made by local businesses or residents.
A decision notice from Corby Council planners read: “The proposal will redevelop underutilised brownfield land and will deliver development of high quality architecture that promotes a vibrant town centre and re-establishes it as a focal point for Corby’s population.
“The proposal will enable the local community to satisfy much of their shopping and entertainment needs locally and will therefore facilitate the creation of a more sustainable form of urban development.”
The site was originally designated for a cinema and leisure complex but those plans were dumped after a rival cinema opened at the other end of town.
When we revealed the plans last year it was hoped that work on the first phase would begin by the summer just gone.
Our poll last year revealed Debenhams was Corby’s most popular choice for a new major store.