Development is set to continue during 2014 in Daventry says commercial property agent Prop-Search heralding further inward investment in the expanding town.
Plans for a retail-led mixed-use scheme including a cinema and library in the town centre - to be known as Mulberry Place - have recently been approved despite a recommendation of refusal from heritage quango English Heritage. However, Daventry District Council has now approved the full plans.
The planning application included plans for the construction of 17 units totalling 147,245 sq ft of non-food retail floorspace, restaurants, cafes, a 23,595 sq ft five-screen cinema, and the replacement of the existing library. The new library will be built on the Chapel Lane car park and will be larger than the current building and also include a small outside amphitheatre, registry office and ceremonies room. There are also plans within the Mulberry Place scheme for replacement car parking, which exceeds the current car parking spaces in the area.
The committee also gave the go-ahead for a new supermarket, petrol station and additional retail units with parking on a separate site west of Eastern Way which includes the old gas works site and the Ashby Road roundabout.
The applications for the two developments were submitted by the Council’s development partner, Henry Boot Developments, following public consultation last year. It is considered that the new retail offer will complement that already in the town centre and will provide large floorplates which are a requirement of most major retailers. The proposed cinema and restaurant will also aid the retention of visitors into the evening, creating a vibrant retail and leisure core.
Daventry District Council is seeking interest from hotel operators and other organisations for a potential hotel scheme in the heart of the town. Other key features proposed for the development include a marina, office space, restaurant and leisure facilities, residential units and a college of further education. This development forms the latest phase of the Daventry Town Centre Vision - an extensive regeneration programme by DDC and its partners. A masterplan for the scheme has been submitted for outline planning approval, with the hotel development expected to take shape during 2015.
Earlier this year, Leisure Lakes Bikes opened a new flagship store at Abbey Retail Park, relocating within the town. The 30 year old family run business has taken a unit of some 7,500 sq ft and will cater for all cycling disciplines with over 250 cycles on display in store. The store also incorporates a Guru Bike Fit Centre - the only one in Europe - the world’s most advanced fit bike, providing an infinite range of motion and real-time adjustment to create the perfect ride.
Work commenced at the end of last year on a major new distribution facility at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) for Sainsbury’s - set to create over 900 new jobs and support the company’s rapidly growing general merchandise business. The new 1 million sq ft unit, to be operated by DHL, will use both automation and conventional assembly methods and will open in two phases - local bay operations will commence in early 2015, with a vast 150,000 pallet high-bay operation following later in the year. The facility will feature the latest environmental technologies including LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and vehicle charging in the car park.
Prologis is still awaiting a decision from the Planning Inspectorate on its proposal to deliver the 300 hectare expansion of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal - DIRFT III. The proposed development will comprises just over 7.5 million sq ft of storage, distribution and industrial accommodation with around 40-50 per cent of the buildings being directly rail linked. A range of plots are proposed, the largest of which could accommodate a single facility of 1.65 million sq ft.
Gazeley has also recently acquired a strategic 18.5 acre site in the town, from the Ford Motor Company. The site, which has planning, will be prepared for G.Track - Gazeley’s rapid build delivery programme and will offer design and build opportunities in excess of 250,000 sq ft.
With business confidence steadily rising as inflation drops, it seems that Daventry is geared to seeing a welcome boost to its commercial property fortunes. And this level of development investment demonstrates that the local economy is set to grow with the creation of new employment opportunities.
Further information or advice can be obtained from Prop-Search - Tel: 01604 492000 / 01933 223300 or its website: www.prop-search.com