Big step forward for major development

Network 401 and aerial artist impression by Seymour Harris Architecture
Network 401 and aerial artist impression by Seymour Harris Architecture

After plans were submitted for a major mixed use development in Brackley which could create around 1,000 jobs, a developer has said the project will let the town stand on its own two feet.

Last week South Northants Council planning officers validated a planning application for the Network 401 site off Northampton Road.

Northampton Road development,Brackley.Kelvin Pearce and Peter Frampton.'121010GM-A889

Northampton Road development,Brackley.Kelvin Pearce and Peter Frampton.'121010GM-A889

Proposals for the 25 acre farm fields include a Sainsbury supermarket, a petrol station, a restaurant/hotel, a production and distribution centre, and the long awaited replacement to the Brackley Cottage Hospital.

Despite a short delay due to the volume of documentation, Kelvin Pearce, director of developer Albion Land said the project was moving quickly following a pre-planning consultation in October 2012.

He added: “It is moving very quickly, we have been very pleased with the positive reaction from case officers at SNC and they are hoping to get the plans to committee in April.

“The big thing is that it resolves the long standing problem of the Cottage Hospital and I think this is an important milestone in terms of delivering that element to the people of Brackley.”

For the last 12 months the developer has also been in discussions with a major employer interested in the production an distribution centre.

Mr Pearce said Brackley was in competition with other sites to attract such employers, but the town’s road links made it an attractive location.

He added: “I think Brackley has a lot going for it. There is planning consent for employment space up at Silverstone which will take up some employment, but I still think this development will let Brackley stand up on its own two feet.”

Mr Pearce remained tight-lipped about which company they were in talks with over the production site, but said it would be welcomed by the town and would sit ‘comfortably’ near the health centre.

As resident of Turweston Road Barry Williams will be on the front line of the development.

He said: “When we heard there was going to be this big distribution centre with warehouses and offices, everyone on the street was against it, everyone said they were going to sell up.

“Then we heard about the medical centre and the care home and Sainsbury and we all changed our minds.

“I don’t think any body liked the idea of our view over a fields being swapped for an industrial landscape, but we’ll now have a view of the medical centre.”

George Britchfield, chairman of the Cottage Hospital Trust who has been campaigning for its replacement for over 20 years said: “We’ve never been here before, so it is all new territory.”