Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet is to consider proposals to locate the town’s new bus interchange on the site of the old covered market (Fishmarket) when it meets next week. (October 12). Creating new bus and passenger facilities is a key part of the regeneration plans for the wider town centre. A number of possible options for a new site have been considered over the past few months, in consultation with partners and user groups. As a result of this work, the Fishmarket site is now being recommended as the preferred location. One of the main benefits of this site is its central location, which would bring bus passengers right into the heart of the town and give them easy access to shops, the Market Square and facilities including the Guildhall, County Hall, the Royal & Derngate and Castle Station.
Northampton Borough Council also owns all the land that would be used if the new interchange were built on this site, which would make the scheme easier and quicker to deliver.
West Northamptonshire Development Corporation’s board is expected to consider contributing funding to the scheme. As well as being asked to endorse the Fishmarket site for a new bus facility, the Cabinet will also be asked to approve continued working with the Northampton Arts Collective, which currently uses the former indoor market rent free, to find them suitable alternative premises.
Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council portfolio holder for Assets and Regeneration, said: "The new bus interchange is a vitally important part of the future development of our town and we know that a lot of people feel very strongly about it.
"We want to create a site that that is welcoming, bright, safe and clean and brings passengers right into the heart of Northampton. We will look closely at these proposals to ensure that they enable us to provide the right facilties to meet the needs of bus users and the town as a whole in the future.”
If the proposed site is approved in principle, it is expected that a planning application would be submitted by January 2012, with construction to start in Summer 2012. Northamptonshire County Council, as a key partner in the regeneration of Northampton, has undertaken to take lead responsibility for the design, preparation and submission of the formal planning application.
The Cabinet meeting will take place at the Guildhall at 6pm on Wednesday 12 October.