Chron Comment: November 8

“JAM tomorrow” seems to be the message from Northampton Borough Council leader, David Mackintosh, regarding the state of the town centre (page 34). “Cranes are in the air,” he said and pointed out 15 regeneration schemes were afoot and in a few years time we won’t recognise the place with all the improvements in the offing.

That’s great news, but is it enough to pacify Northampton BID? The organisation representing traders says something needs to be done now to stop the decline. BID has suggested longer shopping hours, better and cheaper parking, reduced rates and a general tidying up of the streets.

Both BID and council ultimately want the same thing: a vibrant, clean town centre full of shops and shoppers. Immediate action and a longer-term strategy would seem the way forward.

ANOTHER battle over regeneration is being fought a mile or so away from Northampton town centre and concerns prime real estate which has been left derelict for far too long.

Complex ownership problems have been blamed for a lack of progress on the former power station site on the banks of the Nene. WNDC seems to have lost patience with private developers and wants to compulsory purchase the land to get things moving. A planning hearing will decide the site’s fate and a decision can’t come too soon.