Major project will see huge extension of Upton Country Park

Published: Thursday, 28 March 2019

Northampton Borough Council could soon embark on a major project that will enhance the accessibility and natural environment of more than 127 hectares open space at Upton.

The proposed phase two of the Upton Country Park development is currently out to tender. It includes the construction of 2.4km of new paths and cycle ways, with new woodland and wetland, served by a viewing platform.

The first phase was completed in 2008 with the construction of the Elgar Centre and delivery of football pitches and a cricket square, woodland, footbridges, paths and benches.

And receipt of s106 money from nearby housing developments means the second phase of work can now commence, with start of work planned for May.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “We can’t wait to get started on this fantastic new project which will provide some much-needed additional public open space on the western side of Northampton.

“We have an attractive scheme planned which will open up a huge area west of the existing Upton Country Park, offering families a chance to get out into the wilder landscape and enjoy some of the wonderful wildlife making a home there.”

The area is bisected by the River Nene which runs west to east, and the Western Bypass running north to south. New bridges will connect the western and eastern sections of land.

Work has been made possible largely through S106 payments arising from parcels of development land in the area, previously owned by Homes England. The land forming the country park extension was transferred to Northampton Borough Council by Homes England in 2016.

Cabinet is set to consider the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday 3 April. Members are being asked to delegate responsibility for contractor appointment to the Head of Service for regeneration and enterprise in order that the project can proceed as soon as possible.

If agreed, the contractor will be appointed in April and work will start on site at the beginning of May with completion planned by spring 2020.