Plans for new Rushden Lakes link road submitted

If given the go-ahead, it is hoped the new link road would reduce traffic on the Skew Bridge roundabout
If given the go-ahead, it is hoped the new link road would reduce traffic on the Skew Bridge roundabout

Plans for a new link road into Rushden Lakes have been submitted for consideration by councillors.

LXB3 Partners LLP wants to build the proposed Ditchford Road link road on land to the west of the scheme, which had more than 800,000 visitors in the first 130 days since opening.

The proposed link road for Rushden Lakes

The proposed link road for Rushden Lakes

They are applying for full planning permission for the road, including site clearance and earthworks to enable the construction of a new link road between Ditchford Road and Rushden Lakes as well as junction works, footpaths, cycleways, lighting, and hard and soft landscaping.

The planning statement says: “The proposals have been subject to pre-application discussions with the East Northants Council (ENC) as well as preapplication engagement with statutory consultees and local stakeholders.

“Meetings were held with ENC in August and November 2017 to table the plans for the link road and the applicant has engaged with both Highways England (HE) and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) highways department to discuss the approach to the application proposals and their assessment.

“Pre-application discussions have also been held with Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Wildlife Trust.”

A public consultation event held in November had 378 visitors and 182 feedback forms were completed.

Of these responses, 88 per cent of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that the proposed link road would provide a useful access to Rushden Lakes.
And 79 per cent of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that the proposed link road would provide relief to the Skew Bridge roundabout and improve traffic flows.

Documents submitted as part of the application state: “The proposed link road will aid the operation of Rushden Lakes by providing an alternative access to the site and taking vehicular movements away from Skew Bridge roundabout.

“It is anticipated that around a quarter of the Rushden Lakes Phase 1 and Phase 2 traffic would use the link road instead of Skew Bridge roundabout.

“This will help the car park and circulation routes operate more efficiently.

“The operational benefits that the link road would provide to Rushden Lakes would allow it to function more successfully, helping the wider area to capitalise on the business and other opportunities brought forward by Rushden Lakes, which in turn will support Rushden’s growth town objectives, self-reliance and sustainable growth.”

The application will be considered by East Northants Council.