Site 5 retail scheme set for approval by Daventry District Council members

Site 5 proposed plan
Site 5 proposed plan

Daventry District Council members are set to approve plans for the Site 5 retail scheme to the north-west of Daventry town centre.

The council's planning committee will recommend the Henry Boot Developments Ltd for approval at a meeting on November 22.

The application proposes a retail development together with a hotel and car parking, in response to the growth agenda for Daventry and previous master plan and vision documents for the town centre.

Five buildings are listed in the application. Building A is described as a retail parade, building B is proposed as a restaurant/hot food takeaway, building C is a proposed drive-through, building D a family pub/restaurant, and building E is a hotel.

The planning application document states: "The scheme would involve the loss of some open space but it is considered that the circumstances of the land in question, together with the benefits of the scheme, justify it.

"The site is adjacent to a significant number of residential properties and would have a potential impact on those properties, in terms of noise and visual amenity.

"Subject to the imposition of appropriate conditions, it is considered that the noise impact can be satisfactorily mitigated, and that reasonable mitigation of the visual impact would be achieved through the building siting and design; the retention of existing landscape features, and new landscaping.

"In relation to heritage assets, the site is adjacent to the town centre conservation area and several listed buildings. It is not considered that the proposed development would cause harm to the heritage assets or their setting.

"This represents part of the town’s regeneration and response to the growth agenda and is one of the identified sites in the 2004 ‘Daventry Town Centre Vision 2021’ masterplan."

The benefits identified within the application include more than £32 million of private investment in Daventry, the potential to generate 150-200 full-time jobs predominantly sourced from the Daventry area and the regeneration of "under-utilised" land which could spark further investment in the town.

It is also hoped that more retail offers in the town will allow Daventry to compete with other centres in the likes of Rugby and Northampton, and thus increase "locally-generated earnings within the area".

Concerns on behalf of Bowen Square retailers feature in the application document. Among them is the impact on footfall and turnover in town centre should the Site 5 development go ahead.

In particular, Waitrose is concerned that permitting the current application would have a major detrimental impact on the turnover of their existing store.

"The applicant's Retail Study by WYG (dated January 2017) confirms that the proposed development will divert £3.89m of trade from the town centre Waitrose store, which equates to a -14.1% impact," reads the statement.

"Similarly, the scheme will divert £4.49m of trade (-15.52% impact) from the town centre Tesco in New Street. As a general ‘rule of thumb’ any impact on a town centre over 10% is considered significant."

Fourteen representations from neighbours were received during the consultation phase - 10 were against the proposal or had concerns with it, and four were in favour.

Some of the main neighbour issues listed in the document touch on the need for more retail units in the town, management of food waste, poor outlook for existing properties, could put other businesses in jeopardy thus impacting the High Street and noise issues.

One supportive neighbour wrote: "Just get on with it – the town is about 20 years behind the rest of the country."

Another called the proposal "excellent" and in need of becoming a reality because it was badly needed and what residents want, and another wrote "Daventry needs to be brought into the 21st century".

The development can start within three years of permission being granted.

The case document can be viewed on Daventry District Council's website here.