Controversial plans to demolish a shop in Northampton as part of a regeneration scheme are likely to be given the go ahead next week.
Jaya Patel has run Nicky’s News shop in Little Cross Street, Spring Boroughs, for more than 17 years and was first advised she could move to new premises further down the road once her shop had been demolished as part of a revamp of the area.
But landlords Northampton Borough Council have so far made no agreement to transfer the business to a newly-built premises.
On April 27 the borough’s planning committee will decide whether to allow the demolition of the two-storey block of flats in Lower Cross Street, which contains the shop on the ground floor, to go ahead.
However council officers say prior approval will not be required for the method of demolition and the “proposed restoration of the site.”
A report to the committee states: “The means of demolition and the proposed restoration of the site are considered to be acceptable and would be consistent with the aims and objectives of policies of the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.”
At last Monday’s council meeting a 700 name petition was handed in to the borough council asking for it to keep a shop in the area.
Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) said the decaying building currently housing Nicky’s News needs to be demolished, but she said Mrs Patel’s shop has become a a valued community hub.
She said: “What we are fighting for is for a new shop to be put into the same area before the demolition happens.”
Several residents living near Little Cross Street are expected to contest the demolition at the planning committee, at the Guildhall on Wednesday, April 27.
Back in January a Northampton Borough Council spokeswoman said:“To enable the redevelopment of Little Cross Street it is unfortunately necessary to terminate the lease of the business. The council will of course do all it can to work with the business owner to re-provide suitable shop facilities in the future.”