Town centre buildings in Wellingborough could be demolished

Buildings on two sites earmarked for development in Wellingborough town centre could be set for demolition soon.

Councillors will meet next week to discuss agreeing in principle to demolishing 31-32 Church Street and 17-18 High Street in the town.

A report to be considered by members of Wellingborough Council says the two council-owned sites are designated as development sites and it is now necessary to proceed with the preparation of these sites, including demolition, so the work can move forward.

31-32 Church Street has been derelict for more than 10 years and has been the cause of complaints for several years.

The building had been privately owned, but in June the former Indian restaurant was transferred to the council’s ownership.

Councillors have previously said demolition is the only option for this site due to its dilapidated condition, and it has been noted in the new report that some remedial works will be needed to protect the neighbouring property.

The report also states: “A proposal regarding the redevelopment of this site to complement the town centre will be brought to councillors in due course.”

The council took ownership of 17-18 High Street following the High Street/Jackson Lane/West Street/Oxford Street compulsory purchase order which was confirmed in December 2008.

Redevelopment of the High Street site has been in the pipeline for several years, and it was back on the council agenda in July, with councillors agreeing to stay with the original preferred developer Keepmoat, but adjust the proposed scheme to exclude the Drill Hall, Queen’s Hall and car park from the land they will sell to them.

The council can then keep hold of that land with a view to coming up with a leisure or retail development in the area in the future.

The planning application as it stands is for 109 dwellings, but that is yet to be considered by the planning committee.

Next week’s report states: “It is proposed to demolish these properties to prepare the site for redevelopment.

“This will form part of the overall proposal for the High Street development.”

The report says both sites will continue to decline if demolition is not approved, creating an ‘increasingly negative impact on the surrounding environment’ and delaying the regeneration of the town centre.

Members of the services committee are recommended to approve in principle to demolishing the properties and that officers submit the relevant planning applications.

The meeting takes place at 7pm on Monday at Swanspool House in Wellingborough.