Town council ‘disappointed’ with proposed Rushden Gateway scheme

How the proposed Rushden Gateway scheme could look if it gets the go-ahead
How the proposed Rushden Gateway scheme could look if it gets the go-ahead

A town council has said it is disappointed with plans for a major new scheme including a supermarket and care home.

Ashfield Land Developments Ltd recently submitted its plans for a new development known as Rushden Gateway on the A45 opposite Rushden Lakes.

The project – estimated to create about 500 new jobs – is for a development of 28 acres to include a supermarket, drive-thru, 60-bed unit care home as well as business floor space and a new area of public space.

While the application will be considered by East Northants Council, Rushden Town Council’s planning consultative committee discussed it on June 26 and it was decided they will be opposing the plans.

Minutes from the meeting state numerous reasons for objecting to the scheme.

While the Core Spatial Strategy states that a high quality landmark building should be included at the A45/Northampton Road roundabout as a gateway to Rushden, the minutes state: “We do not consider a supermarket to be a landmark building.

“The submitted application for a supermarket is not aesthetically pleasing and does not enhance the gateway to Rushden.”

Councillors also voiced strong opposition to the proposed fast food driv-thru, with the minutes stating: “This type of development will not enhance the site and will create a poor impression of the town from the A45.

“We have embraced the development of Rushden Lakes and were pleased that all retail and food outlets are of a high quality.

“We therefore feel it would be detrimental to have a low quality driv-thru positioned on one of the main entrances to the town, directly opposite to Rushden Lakes.”

And in summing up their views, the minutes say: “In conclusion Rushden Town Council are disappointed with the proposed development.

“In preparing our neighbourhood plan we have tried very hard to improve the visual look of the town and to protect important entrances.

“The Rushden Lakes development has provided quality and we therefore wish to continue this trend throughout the rest of the town.

“As stated above the development is neither compliant with our neighbourhood plan or the Core Spatial Strategy and we therefore have had no alternative but to object to the proposed scheme.”

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