Rushden Lakes link road approved again

Aerial view of Rushden Lakes shopping centre
Aerial view of Rushden Lakes shopping centre

A new link road near to shopping mecca Rushden Lakes has been approved again, after a planning consent last month was given incorrectly.

At a meeting on Wednesday night East Northants Council’s planning committee decided once again to approve the single carriageway road to the west of the popular shopping centre.

The approval is subject to the removal of an objection from Highways England who are still talking with the developers about their concerns regarding the proposed mitigation scheme for the northern roundabout off the Ditchford interchange.

The planning decision had to be taken again after incorrect constitutional advice about debate was given to councillors at a meeting on September 12.

Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting Conservative councillor Andy Mercer said: “This application is an attempt to solve some of the problems that exist at the Waitrose roundabout, where there is too much traffic.

“As such it should reduce the over capacity problem which is causing delays.

“In my opinion this scheme is an improvement and better than the alternative, which is not to have it.”

The plans include associated footpaths, crossings, junctions and lighting along the route and there would also be a requirement for alterations to Ditchford Road as well as the A45 east sliproad.

At the meeting Conservative councillor Helen Howell questioned why the decision was being made before Highways England had made a decision.

She said: “We do need another road – my problem is that we have not got all the information.

“My personal opinion is it should have been delayed to start with.”

If Highways England do not remove their objection after discussions with the developer, then the matter will return to the planning committee once again.