Residents holding meeting over Rushden development promising 500 jobs

How the Rushden Gateway scheme could look
How the Rushden Gateway scheme could look

A developer has submitted its plans for a major new commercial scheme including a supermarket and care home - but residents have warned they will be opposing it.

Ashfield Land recently revealed it was planning to submit plans for a major new commercial scheme known as Rushden Gateway on the A45 opposite Rushden Lakes.

The project – estimated to create approximately 500 new jobs – is for the development of about 28 acres to include retail and business space as well as a care home.

The Rushden Gateway site fronts the A45, next to Crown Park, and is opposite Rushden Lakes.

The full planning application including a supermarket, drive-thru, 60-bed unit care home as well as business floor space and a new area of public space has now been submitted to East Northants Council for consideration.

Documents submitted as part of the application state: “The overall scheme will aspire to make a positive contribution to the character and quality of the area through the creation of a safe and attractive commercial development.”

However, people living nearby have warned that they will be objecting to the plans and are holding a public meeting about it next week.

Cllr Dorothy Maxwell, who represents Rushden’s Spencer ward, said: “The residents will be objecting to this latest planning application which has been put forward by Nick Jones, director of Ashfield Land.

“It is contrary to the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy Policy.

“Have the developers learnt anything from their last application in 2017?

“At that time Rushden Lakes was not opened but the severe congestion caused by the Lakes is now clear for all to see.

“The road infrastructure simply would not cope with further development in this location.”

Cllr Maxwell says they do not need an Aldi supermarket or more takeaways on this site, and added: “Furthermore, Aldi would not meet the iconic building status required for this entry point to Rushden.

“We already have enough takeaways in Rushden, why do we need more?

“There is a large secondary school within a short walking distance of the proposed development so the children would be exposed to the temptation of junk food on their doorstep.

“This, at a time, when the Government is trying to encourage young people to eat healthily.

“Lastly, traffic congestion along Northampton Road is already a major problem for the residents and further development would merely escalate the problem to the level of a major, polluted conurbation.

“Do we want this in a semi-rural area?”

Residents are invited to have their say on the plans at the meeting at Rushden Bowls Club at 7pm on Wednesday (June 20).

For more details call Cllr Maxwell on 01933 353301.

For more information about the plans, search for 18/00982/FUL on the planning page of East Northants Council’s website.