Daventry’s proposed £20 million town centre retail development, has been given the green light by councillors.
In a lengthy three-hour debate Daventry District Council’s planning committee voted to back the plans.
Mulberry Place will see a swathe of the town north of the High Street, from the back of Brook Street right across to the Chapel Lane car park by the Moot Hall developed.
The plans are for 17 new units including a cinema, cafes, shops and a new library, along with parking.
Cllr Deanna Eddon said: “The High Street used to be the centre of the town. The supermarkets on New Street and Bowen Square changed that.
“This application can bring balance back and put the High Street back at the centre. It could end the traffic jams we see daily in New Street and it will provide the larger, modern units that major retailers demand. The majority of residents on my ward (Daventry Abbey South) are in agreement with this application.”
Cllr Chris Over said: “This will make a significant contribution to Daventry’s retail and leisure offer.
“With Daventry making provision for some 6,000 homes, Monksmoor already underway, and the town’s population predicted to grow to some 40,000, and with approval for additional homes in the neighbouring villages, Long Buckby being just one example, clearly these plans are far from premature.
“To the contrary, with the regional and national economy on the move, this is a positive statement of the intention to build upon Daventry’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence.”
Cllr Chris Millar said: “The applicants have spent an enormous amount of time on this, and Henry Boot have stuck with this town through the darkest days of the recession, it shows the belief they have in Daventry and its people.”
Cllr Luke said: “We have English Heritage, the town council, the 20th Century Society, and a petition with 279 signatures saying this is not in- keeping with Daventry town centre. What’s to stop shops in Bowen Square moving into these units?”
The plans were backed eight to four in a vote.