Redevelopment of Wellingborough car park to be discussed

The Jacksons Lane car park in Wellingborough
The Jacksons Lane car park in Wellingborough

The redevelopment of a town centre car park is back on the agenda.

Wellingborough Council has been working on proposals for the regeneration of the High Street/Jacksons Lane site for a number of years.

While progress has taken time, the scheme is up for discussion again next week.

Councillors will be considering demolition of an existing building at 48 West Street and redevelopment of part of the car park on High Street for 114 dwellings consisting of 85 houses, 29 apartments, roads, car parking and landscaping.

This application includes changes to layout and number of dwellings to previous proposals for the site, which was earmarked for development back in 2006.

A report prepared for the meeting says: “Following discussions the site area of the application has been amended which has resulted in the frontage of the High Street, including the Queens Hall and the Drill Hall being excluded from this application, resulting in a more compact developable area which no longer extends to the High Street frontage itself.”

The site is owned by the council and has been used as an ‘informal’ car park for several years.

And the report adds: “It should be emphasised that it has a long-standing allocation for re-development and therefore the use of the car park has always been temporary pending development.”

As a consultee, the council’s planning policy officer says: “This is a key site to provide housing and help to regenerate Wellingborough town centre as well as contributing to the overal spatial strategy for North Northamptonshire.”

However, Wellingborough Civic Society objects to the current application due to loss of car parking.

It says the Jacksons Lane car park is used in the day for weddings, funerals, takeaways and restaurants.

Evening use includes those attending events and functions at the United Reformed Church and Friends Meeting House nearby.

The response from the ward councillor states: “Welcome the development of much needed housing in Wellingborough and being close to the town centre, it will be positive for the growth of the town.

“However this development cannot be agreed without considering the impact of losing a large car park.

“Shoppers and those working in the town use it and the multi-storey car park is the other side of the town centre and open limited hours.”

After being re-notified about the plans, 28 letters of objection have been received from occupiers of neighbouring residential and commercial properties.

Concerns raised include loss of parking, impact on exisiting community facilities such as schools and doctors surgery, and the design of the proposed houses would not be in keeping with the local heritage and conservation area.

The recommendation for councillors is for delegation to the head of planning and local development to approve the application subject to various conditions and following the completion of a Section 106 planning agreement.

It will be considered by the planning committee at 7pm on Wednesday (April 18) at Wellingborough’s Swanspool House.