SNC Announces Developer And Updated Plans For Towcester's Moat Lane
|Author: James Rudd||Published: 27th March 2012 12:05|
Artist's impression of the new Council offices and civic building in Towcester
Towcester based South Northamptonshire Council can now announce that constructor/investor Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd will be its development partner for the Moat Lane regeneration and civic accommodation project.
Fulfilling the vision for the historic market town of Towcester, the scheme features a civic building with council offices providing a community heart to the town centre. Other elements of the scheme include retail, catering and residential.
The wider scheme is to develop the existing Springfields site, in accordance with the objectives, to provide new high-quality housing.
This will provide a significant contribution to the cost of the new, energy-efficient civic accommodation with lower running costs, saving council taxpayers money.
Councillor Rebecca Breese, SNC’s portfolio holder with responsibility for the Moat Lane redevelopment, said: “The fact that we have been able to negotiate this development in the current economic climate is excellent news for Towcester.
“I hope everyone will join me in welcoming this move and looking forward to what it offers the town.”
Ernie Battey, managing director of Morgan Sindall Investments said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the council to fulfil their long standing vision for the regeneration of Moat Lane.
“Positioned at the very heart of this historic town, we understand how important this project is for the community and look forward to delivering this high-quality development with our sister companies Lovell and Morgan Sindall and developer Clayson Country Homes.”
The regeneration, in addition to providing much-needed improvements for what has become a neglected area of Towcester, will bring more business into the town centre.
With preparatory work commencing straight away, the scheme should be complete within four to five years.
The civic building should be ready by spring 2014, providing the council with annual savings of £220,000 from lower running costs and income from rental and facility bookings.
West Northamptonshire Development Corporation has invested around £7.5m in the Moat Lane scheme. Peter Mawson, WNDC’s chief executive, said: “The development of Towcester town centre will create new jobs and support the long term prosperity of the area.
“The Moat Lane plans have attracted national design awards and are intended to showcase the historic core of the town alongside modern new facilities.
“As a key investor in the project, we are delighted that a development partner has been secured.”
The scheme features a proposal for an anchor store on the corner of Northampton Road complemented by a range of smaller retail units and a new civic building housing an improved town library, the county registrar’s office and a shared local authority customer contact centre.
Northamptonshire County Council will provide £3 million for the Library and County Registrar accommodation and as a grant contribution to the wider scheme.
Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for customer services, said: “I am pleased to see this exciting project take an important step forward.
“This is very significant development which will see real benefits for our customers by joining together a range of services and organisations under one roof.
“The building will be a superb setting for a new library in Towcester as well as a new home for the registry office, putting these services at the heart of Towcester’s community, encouraging more people and business into the town centre and helping it to thrive.”
At the centre of the redevelopment, historic Bury Mount will become a focal amenity and a further 28 acres of nearby water meadow will be brought back into public use for the first time in two centuries.
A travel plan to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport will also be produced to complement the scheme.
Details on the scheme can be found at www.southnorthants.gov.uk or www.moatlane.org and also on display in the SNC Moat Lane Project Office at Springfields. Contact Tim Pack 01327 322215 or Ian Thompson on 01295 753713 for more information.