The public inquiry to decide the future of the proposed Rushden Lakes development has begun today
The inquiry was started by planning inspector Harold Stephens at 10am this morning, and opening statements from the main parties for and against the proposed development have been read out.
Tens of people from the Yes2RushdenLakes group are attending the meeting to show their support for the scheme.
Christopher Katkowski QC, representing the applicant LXB Retail Properties, said in his opening statement that the Secretary of State has received 1,000 letters in support of the Rushden Lakes development.
He continued to add that the site will bring ‘much needed jobs’ to the area, it will create economic growth, and it has been warmly welcomed by people in the local area.
He added that he found the claims by the parties in opposition to the development ‘depressing’ and ‘bewildering.’
Hugh Richards, representing East Northants Council, added: “Unequivocally the proposal should be granted.”
However, Morag Ellis, QC for the Kettering, Corby & Northampton councils consortium, said: “It would have an adverse affect planned public and private investment in Northampton, Kettering and Corby town centres.
“Most strikingly in Northampton. Legal and General have made clear that the redevelopment of the Grosvenor Centre will not go ahead if Rushden Lakes is approved.”
Russell Harris, QC for Legal and General, said that the out of town of development was designed to impact on Northampton.
He added: “The alleged benefits do not come close to out weighing the harm it would cause.”
The Northants Telegraph will be reporting regularly from the inquiry throughout the scheduled 12 days.
Planning inspector Harold Stephens will hear from those supporting, and those opposed to, the £50m shopping and leisure complex proposals.
You can stay up to date with all the developments here.