Northampton

Rushden and Diamonds Nene Park redevelopment plans out to consultation

Artists impression of the Nene Park development Image copyright Rose Property Consultants
Image caption Plans for Nene Park include a cinema and hotel

Plans that will see a disused football stadium replaced with a four storey hotel, cinema, restaurants and a food store have gone out to consultation.

The proposals for Nene Park in Irthlingborough, the former home of Rushden and Diamonds, also include a community football facility.

Planning documents submitted to East Northants Council say 300 jobs could be created if the scheme is approved.

A date is yet to be set for the council to discuss the application.

The proposals have been submitted by Rose Property Consultants on behalf of site owners Conalgen Enterprises SA.

Image copyright Rose Property Consultants
Image caption Six restaurants and a large food store will be built if planning permission is granted

They say the development will "breathe life back into a vacant site that was once a thriving football club serving the local community".

The plans would see the stadium demolished and replaced by seven retail units, consisting of six restaurants and a large food store, an 80-bed hotel, eight screen cinema and 650 car parking spaces.

The community football facility would include the existing, vacant training pitch and former Sports and Exhibition Centre. It would feature 500 fixed seats and changing facilities.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rushden and Diamonds' demise was as quick as their rise to glory

Rushden and Diamonds was founded by Max Griggs in 1992 by the amalgamation of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds.

After building a 6,500-seat stadium in Irthlingborough, the club was half way up the third tier of football when Mr Griggs pulled out in 2005 for financial reasons.

The club was sold to a supporters' trust but it eventually folded in 2011.

Shortly afterwards, Kettering Town played at the ground for 18 months but could not afford its long term upkeep.

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