Demand for Northampton's Grosvenor Centre start date

The Conservative opposition at Northampton Borough Council is demanding a firm start date for a £300m shopping development.

The Grosvenor Centre in Northampton town centre is to be redeveloped, with plans for new shops, restaurants and public spaces.

The Tories want a firm start date agreed with developers.

The ruling Liberal Democrats have accused them of putting jobs and investment at risk.

Conservative group leader David Palethorpe said there had been too many plans.

'Reckless and foolhardy'

"It's now time to sit down and decide when the start date will be in 2014," he said.

"We want to work with the present developer but do not want the project slipping into 2015 or 2016."

Cabinet member for regeneration on the Lib Dem-run council Richard Church said the Conservatives were "reckless and foolhardy" by putting at risk a £300m investment that promised thousands of jobs.

"Developments like these take years to come and we know a planning application will be submitted later this year.

"I can understand people's frustration that it's all taken so long but we need to create the shopping environment and attract the retailers that the residents deserve."

The latest plans for the new centre will be on show at the existing Grosvenor Centre from Friday morning.

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