Detailed plans for new Northamptonshire retail park with three restaurants and drive-thru recommended for approval

Outline permission granted in 2017 but government allowed deadline extension due to Covid-19

Friday, 29th October 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Friday, 29th October 2021, 4:06 pm

Detailed plans for a new retail park in Northamptonshire with five shops and three restaurants including a drive-thru have been recommended for approval.

Tesco needs to get permission for the scale, appearance and landscaping for the shopping park on land next to its Old Tiffield Road store, which was granted outline approval in November 2017.

Usually, the permission would have expired after three years but, because of Covid-19, the government extended the deadlines for reserved matters applications due to expire in 2020.

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The new retail park would be built on vacant land between Tesco, the A5/A43 roundabout and the Porsche dealership on Old Tiffield Road, Towcester. Photo: Google

The principle, access and layout of the development have already been agreed so all that is left for West Northamptonshire Council to decide is exactly how it will look.

The council's South Northamptonshire area planning committee will discuss the proposal on Thursday (November 4).

A planning officer's report ahead of the meeting reads: "The principle of the proposed retail development, including the access and parking arrangement was considered acceptable at the outline stage by virtue of the fact that there are no sequentially preferable sites in the locality and the retail impact upon Towcester Town Centre would not be seriously harmful.

"This was weighed against the benefits of the development which would reduce the amount of trade leakage out of Towcester to other retail centres at Northampton, Milton Keynes and Banbury for comparison goods.

"Officers consider that the scale, appearance and landscaping proposed are acceptable as detailed in the report and there is no serious harm as a consequence on the locality and therefore the planning balance lies in favour of granting permission."

The retail units would be arranged as a terrace of five to the north of the 1.9-hectare site between Tesco and the Porsche dealership, with three additional restaurant units to the south and 235 parking spaces.

A roundabout would be built on Old Tiffield Road at the entrance along with improvements to the junction with the A5 and a new traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossing on the A5 between Old Greens Norton Road and Old Tiffield Road.

The council's highways and surface water drainage teams and Towcester Town Council have raised objections about the reserved matters application.

Highways said the accessible bays do not meet current standards and a report should be provided to show how lorries will access and manoeuvre around the park.

While the town council is concerned about the safety of pedestrians crossing Old Tiffield Road due to increased traffic and the impact of future signage.

The planning officer said these issues have already been approved and cannot be changed.

The surface water drainage team said insufficient information has been provided to demonstrate surface water has been adequately addressed but the planning officer said a report will be submitted and agreed prior to commencement.