Fresh infrastructure deal over new homes plan

Warkton fields looking towards Stamford Road, Kettering, where the Kettering East development will be
Warkton fields looking towards Stamford Road, Kettering, where the Kettering East development will be
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A council has announced it has reached a new deal over plans to build more than 5,000 new homes.

Kettering council says it has reached the new infrastructure agreement, known as a section 106 agreement, in principle with the developers of Kettering East.

The council claims this will ensure the development of 5,500 houses to the east of Barton Seagrave and the Ise Lodge will not be delayed.

This agreement does not affect the original planning consent, issued in 2010, and only addresses part of the infrastructure required by the development. The rest of the infrastructure will be provided by developers before and during the building of the homes, workplaces, shops and facilities as outlined in the planning consent.

But the council has been asked to amend the agreement so it is expressed as a so-called roof charge – which means each time a house is built a sum of money will be provided to be used for facilities at the development.

Kettering council and the developers have agreed a figure of £15,250 per house for the first phase of the development, £16,000 for the second phase and £17,810 for the third phase. It means a total cost of £73.4m.

The money has been earmarked for a range of services including new primary and secondary schools and a community centre on the development, extra policing, library provision in Kettering, improvements to roads, traffic calming measures in Cranford, a community development worker to support new residents and build community groups.

Developer are also to ensure one in five houses is affordable housing, now due to be developed more quickly than envisaged in the original agreement.

The developer, the Council and its partners – Northamptonshire County Council, the police and NHS – have been able to agree a realistic estimate of these costs, which can be met from the roof charge.

Cllr Terry Freer, portfolio holder for the East Kettering development, said: “This development is worth hundred of millions to the local economy and all the key gains which the development promised have been protected in this new agreement.

“It is crucial that the development is financially viable, or it couldn’t be delivered. We had only a short period of time before the original consent expired to agree a new section 106.

“Everyone has worked hard to preserve the main elements of the original agreement – indeed, to add to them – but at a reduced cost. If the developer had not been able to start, we would have had a massive shortfall in housing in this borough and we would have been unable to resist planning applications on sites where we didn’t want to see development happen.

“This is good news for communities in the borough, families wanting housing now, and for our economy. All we need now is for George Osborne to deliver a new roundabout on the A14 and we can see our way through to 5,500 homes over the next 20 years.”