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Rushden Lakes Retail Leisure Park

Volume 556: debated on Monday 7 January 2013

The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden and Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas,

Sheweth,

That the planning application for the Rushden Lakes retail leisure park has the support of East Northamptonshire District Council, the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Rushden Town Council, Higham Ferrers Town Council and the overwhelming majority of local residents, will provide 2,000 new jobs, a high quality leisure park and retail outlets such as Marks and Spencers.

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to as speedily as possible approve the scheme.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.—[Presented by Mr Peter Bone, Official Report, 29 November 2012; Vol. 554, c. 482.]

[P001140]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, received 2 December 2012:

East Northamptonshire Council referred a planning application for a retail and leisure development at Rushden Lakes, Northamptonshire to the Secretary of State for Communities under the Consultation Direction (2009).

The Secretary of State has considered this case against call-in policy, as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively. The Government are committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.

In this case the Secretary of State considers the application to be of more than local importance as it involves a conflict with policies contained in the National Planning Policy Framework, could have significant effects beyond the immediate locality and give rise to substantial cross boundary controversy and has therefore “called-in” the application for his determination. A decision will be made by the Secretary of State following a public inquiry into the application.