The developer behind Rushden Lakes has said the opening of phase one has been a huge success.
And while LXB Retail Properties Plc is pleased that progress is being made with phases two and three of the scheme, it says there has been a delay which is ‘a little frustrating.’
In an update to shareholders on the status of planning permission at Rushden Lakes and the consequent impact on the timetable for the proposed scheme of arrangement, LXB said: “On 4 July 2017, the group announced that it had been advised of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s decision not to call in the planning application for phases two and three at Rushden Lakes.
“Following that news, the group anticipated that the Section 106 agreement would be signed promptly so that planning permission could be granted formally and confirmed as final six weeks later on expiry of the statutory review period.
“The terms of the Section 106 agreement were finalised by mid-July but it required signature by three different local authorities and, for reasons outside of the group’s control, it has taken almost two months to secure the necessary consents.
“Consequently, East Northamptonshire Council was only in a position to issue the planning consent on September 11 and the statutory review period will not expire until October 23.
“The variations to the funding agreement with The Crown Estate become unconditional 10 working days after the review period has expired (assuming no challenge has emerged during that time) so, even though all of the other elements required for that variation to become unconditional are satisfied, the earliest time when matters will be final and funds are received will now be November 6.”
Tim Walton, CEO of LXB Adviser LLP, said: “We are obviously pleased that the planning position has now been confirmed but this unexpected delay is more than a little frustrating.
“On a more positive note however, the opening of phase one at Rushden Lakes at the end of July was a huge success with very positive feedback received from both tenants and visitors.
“That reinforces our belief that, with the addition of the later phases in due course, Rushden Lakes will become one of the UK’s top out of town retail and leisure destinations.”
To read more about the plans for phase two, including a 14-screen cinema, click here
This weekend, a group of visitors from Germany will be taken to numerous places in the north of the county including Rushden Lakes.
Gill Mercer, who is part of the Northamptonshire Twinning Committee but also a councillor on Rushden Town Council, East Northants Council and represents Finedon on Northants County Council, said: “We are going round looking at points of interest showcasing excellence in the county.
“We are showcasing the Cobra firefighting system, which will be demonstrated over at Chelveston, and we are showcasing Rushden Lakes.”
And she added: “Last time they came we showcased Northampton, but this time we are going to Rushden, Desborough and Corby.
“When we were over there, they showed us a shopping centre which had a similar history to Rushden Lakes with other towns opposed to it, so now we can show them Rushden Lakes.
“We are hoping to tell them the history of Rushden Lakes, how it developed and how the application went to the Secretary of State.
“To have the same sort of thing in another country is amazing.
“We are hoping they will be impressed as we think Rushden Lakes is fantastic.”
The itinerary also includes visits to see the regeneration work which has taken place in Corby town centre, as well as Corby Enterprise Centre at Priors Hall.
The county has been twinned with the Westerwald region of Germany for more than 35 years.