Borough council cabinet set to endorse new masterplan for Northampton town centre

A new masterplan for Northampton town centre is set to be endorsed by the borough council’s cabinet tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 5:37 pm
The masterplan for Northampton includes changes to the Market Square

As well as proposing a host of major changes to key landmarks in the town centre, the masterplan will also inform emerging planning policy within the town centre.

The Market Square, Greyfriars, Abington Street, Fish Street and St Giles’ Street, and Mare Fair and Gold Street are set to be redeveloped as part of the plans, which have been drawn up by the Northampton Forward group of key stakeholders.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, the council leader and chair of Northampton Forward, said: “I will be commending this masterplan to my cabinet colleagues as I believe it will help us shape a bright future for Northampton town centre.

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“The proposals are ambitious but achievable as we are working with a wide range of partners across the private and public sector to drive that activity forward.”

Footfall has fallen by over 15 per cent in the town centre over the past three years, from 24.5 million in 2016 down to 20.6 million in 2018. And vacancy rates within the main shopping area have risen from 14.7 per cent in 2015 through to 17.5 per cent in 2019.

In a bid to arrest the decline, proposals include a possible food market on the Market Square, a new linear park and mixed use development on the Greyfriars site, a new bus and coach interchange to improve transport capacity and clear Drapery and enhanced shopfront on Mare Fair and Gold Street.

More than 1,500 people were spoken to across consultation events and more than 650 written consultation responses were received, the results of which have been been used to inform the development of the detailed masterplan proposals.

Councillor Nunn added: “Feedback from the consultation has also featured heavily in the final version of this plan and we’ve published both, so everyone has the chance to scrutinise the details.”

The masterplan, if approved, will be a key supporting documents in Northampton’s bid for a £25million slice of the government’s Future High Streets Fund. An outline business case is expected to be submitted in January before the actual submission in April. An announcement on whether the bid is successful is due to be made next summer.