Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough councils could join Rushden Lakes protest

The ever busy Rushden Lakes.
The ever busy Rushden Lakes.

Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough councils are all considering joining Northampton Borough Council in objecting to Rushden Lakes’ expansion plans.

Yesterday Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee decided to ask for a ‘call in’ of a new application for the Rushden Lakes shopping centre, which means it will be determined by the secretary of the state.

Now it has emerged that three councils in the north of the county have been in discussions with the Northampton council about putting forward a joint objection letter against the new Rushden Living phase which would provide nearly 12,000sqm of mixed use development over 29 units.

Corby councillors will make their decision next Tuesday(Oct 30) at the development control meeting and a report to be considered says: “Corby Borough Council was not formally consulted on the application by East Northants Council, despite having been on previous applications at Rushden Lakes.

“Having been made aware of the proposals, an initial officer’s response was prepared and issued to ensure that the comments were received by ENC within the statutory consultation period.

“Furthermore, discussions have been entered into with officers from the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Kettering Borough Council, and Northampton Borough Council about the possibility of a joint letter being issued to ask for the application to be called in for determination by the Secretary of State.”

The report says that it is the shopping centre’s shift towards smaller units which is the key concern as these types of shops are direct competition for their town centres.

It is unclear when Kettering and Wellingborough councils will put the matter before their councillors to consider.

Since opening in July last year, Rushden Lakes has proved to be a shopping mecca, with its big names brands attracting five million visitors in its first 12 months, five times what its owners had expected.

This latest application would include space for retail, restaurants, physiotherapy/leisure floorspace and office and industrial space.

Earlier this month (Oct) East Northants Council approved plans for a new link road to the development, subject to Highways England removing its objection.