PLANNERS last night approved what was described as one of the most important planning applications they had considered for Northampton, praising its place in the wider scheme of the town’s newly-awarded enterprise zone.
Members of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation’s planning committee voted unanimously in favour of plans for a £12 million link road between Bedford Road, next to the Midsummer Meadow car park in the town centre, and Ransome Road in Far Cotton.
Forming part of a multi-million pound regeneration project for that part of the town, the new plans would see the existing Nunn Mills Road extended and upgraded, and new bridges built over the River Nene and the former Northampton-to-Bedford railway line in Far Cotton.
As well as providing residents with a new route through town, it is intended the road will open up development land near the former Avon headquarters, the old Nunn Mills power station site and a former landfill site in Ransome Road.
Planning permission has already been granted to build 800 houses in Ransome Road and 1,250 homes on the site of Avon’s old headquarters.
At a meeting at the Guildhall, members of the WNDC praised the project in the light of last week’s announcement of the creation of the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.
The zone, which will stretch from Sixfields to Brackmills, will see the town’s riverside transformed into a national centre of excellence for advanced technologies and performance engineering that could pave the way for up to 17,000 new jobs and £1 billion investment.
Speaking after approval was granted, John Weir, WNDC deputy chairman, said: “I really do think this is one of the most important approvals we have given, tonight, as it says the enterprise zone in Northampton is open for business.
“It is an important thing for the regeneration of the town to have an enterprise zone in the town and it will enable us to stand nationally, not just regionally.”