Is Moat Lane work going to be bad for business?

Nick Hastings, landlord of The Plough. Towcester.'130620M-C211
Nick Hastings, landlord of The Plough. Towcester.'130620M-C211
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Towcester shop owners have raised concerns over the impact the town’s regeneration project is having on their business now that work has started.

Plough Inn landlord Nick Hastings fears he is about to lose access for deliveries at the rear of his pub via Moat Lane. He said he has seen the latest plans which show a house is to be built at the end of the his former coaching yard, with limited access and parking for him and other high street traders.

At the same time, planning notices warning of the impending re-arrangement of the Market Square car park show deliveries will also be prohibited at the front of the pub when the number of spaces is cut from 32 to 14.

He has been told there will be extra parking off Old Tiffield Road to serve council workers when SNC moves into Moat Lane, but he thinks town traders will suffer from a lack of parking for deliveries and customers.

He said: “My business will be under threat from any new arrangements to the rear of building.

“They have pointed out there will be customer parking at the back shared between myself, the Co-Op, Drop Dead Gorgeous and the post office.

“There are two very busy businesses in the post office and Co-Op and we’ll need more parking spaces than 
either the council or Highways Agency have provided for 
us.”

Towcester mayor Jim Lynch said he is also worried not enough thought has been given to the effect on town trade during the construction phase of the regeneration. He said: “During the next years, when the Moat Lane project really gets underway, the traffic in Towcester will be even greater with construction traffic.

“The parking in Towcester will become more difficult and with the lack of access at the back of the Market Square, deliveries will have to take place on the Market Square. When the parking is re-arranged it will make that almost impossible. It will not help Towcester businesses.

“Off-loading on the opposite side of the road is not practical and nothing is being done.”

A spokesman for SNC said: “Following discussions and negotiations with the brewery, the plans were amended to ensure good access for delivery vehicles and the other requirements for the future successful operation of The Plough have been met.”