The next step in Wellingborough’s regeneration has begun, as work started this week on a new access road into the High Street development site to make it more attractive to potential developers.
The site is intended to eventually feature a mix of residential properties, offices, retail and a hotel, as well as public open space.
The road starts from between the florists and the row of shops on Oxford Street (through the billboard site) and leads half way into the Leighton Place car park. A second road will connect to the first, providing access to the rear of numbers 50 to 76 West Street . A new high quality fence will be installed to the rear of the West Street properties to replace the two existing fences.
The project will run until the end of March and the construction team will work closely with local residents and businesses who are most affected by the scheme.
At the same time, the council has begun the process of securing a developer for the site. The process is expected to take 12-18 months and will involve councillors assessing potential developers' proposals before deciding on the future of the site.
Cllr Graham Lawman, chairman of the council's development committee said: "Demolition took place before Christmas to make way for this new road, which will allow access to the heart of the site. We are getting towards the end of a long process in this very important part of the town centre regeneration. We've invested a considerable amount of money through the compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) in order to bring forward a really high quality development to benefit Wellingborough, and it's exciting to see that start to become reality. We're now working on securing a developer partner and we would hope to see building begin on the site by next summer."
Wellingborough Council was awarded £1million of time-limited government funding to deliver the road and the scheme is carried out by the council in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council, North Northants Development Company (NNDC) and MGWSP (NCC's service provider who will be undertaking the works on site along with their contractor PGR Construction).