The Chamber of Commerce is highly supportive at the possibility of Marks & Spencer Simply Food opening on Castlefields Retail Park in Wellingborough. It feels that the attraction of this retailer will help to reduce the overall leakage of expenditure from within the Borough and provide a food offer which is currently not being supplied in the town. It does however have concerns regarding the entrance and exit onto London Road and the potential further congestion of this key approach to the town centre with the additional traffic this store can attract.
At peak times and during strong trading periods such as Christmas, the entrance and exit to Castlefields is constantly a bottleneck. The volume of traffic and delays on London Road is already an issue and the imminent new entrance to Wellingborough School is only going to add considerable additional hold ups for people travelling into the town centre.
The Chamber has written to the Borough Council with regards to this issue and has suggested that if it is to go against its planning policies and approve the application that it should mitigate the impacts from this development by improving junctions and traffic flows along London Road. Funding is now being provided by the Government through the New Homes Bonus to help offset the impacts of growth and the Council has recently overwhelmingly supported the principle of infrastructure before expansion. Alan Piggot, President of the Chamber commented, ‘Whilst the Chamber understands that highway matters fall under the remit of the County Council, it is unlikely that they will fund additional improvements to this junction. The Borough Council would benefit the residents and businesses of Wellingborough if this matter was addressed and improvements were made to save what will become a nightmare area for traffic once this store opens and to provide future capacity once additional growth proposals start to be delivered such as Stanton Cross’.