The Secretary of State has granted permission for the £50million,
465,000 sq ft retail and leisure redevelopment of Rushden Lakes in Northampton. Dentons acted for LxB throughout the process, including the 12 day Call In Inquiry held last year in response to demands for the Government to step to a refuse permission by 3 local authorities and several institutional landowners.
Senior Associate Roy Pinnock said “This scheme has been a real road test for the National Planning Policy Framework – are we prepared to say Yes to growth when plans are out of date and no effort is being made to address needs? The Secretary of State’s decision is a helpful milestone and the scheme is one of the most complex to rely on the presumption in favour of sustainable development so far.
Both the circumstances and the scheme are exceptional – the site is over 200 hectares and the scheme has been designed from the outset to make the most of nature conservation, transport and sustainability benefits which are now secured by the planning framework for the site. It has been great to work on a scheme with overwhelming local popular support and support from Natural England, the Highways Agency, local traders and the nearest local authorities.”
Jon McCarthy, of LxB Properties, said: “We have always seen the sense in the Rushden Lakes scheme. It has been refreshing to build such a positive relationship with the local community and so many of the public bodies involved, with the aim of realising the benefits it will bring. Dentons did a fantastic job working with the rest of our team to keep our case on the best footing – the fact that the Inspector and the Secretary of State agreed with our case bears that out”.
Roy Pinnock, Melanie Blanchard and Stephen Ashworth led the process for LxB.