Land sold to kick-start Wellingborough North development

The land off Niort Way in Wellingborough

The land off Niort Way in Wellingborough

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A deal has been struck over land needed to kick-start a £400m development to the north of Wellingborough.

Outline planning permission for the Wellingborough North development was granted by the Secretary of State in February 2010.

But work couldn’t start until a piece of land owned by Wellingborough Council was sold.

The council’s resources committee decided last September that it was the right time for negotiations over the sale to begin, and a deal was agreed by councillors on Tuesday night.

A spokesman for Wellingborough Council said: “Following several months of negotiations, it was agreed to sell to developer Northants LLP, subject to satisfactory Section 106 agreements. Section 106 agreements set out ways that a developer will mitigate the impact of a development, including provision of affordable housing and infrastructure.

“The outline planning permission for the whole development gave consent for up to 3,000 homes, shops, schools, a nursery, offices, a health centre and parks, as well as space reserved for new road improvements between Isham and Wellingborough.

“The sale of this land allows only the first phase of the project to go ahead, which would result in around 1,500 new homes.”

The spokesman said the views of residents had been taken into consideration.

The council spokesman added: “There had been some opposition to the development due to its proximity to nearby residential area Redhill Grange.

“Taking this into account, and having listened to local residents, the council has negotiated that the part of the scheme concerning the area immediately adjacent to Redhill Grange won’t be developed without further consent from the council.”

Once work gets under way on the development off Niort Way, it will help with the five-year supply of housing land the local authority is required to demonstrate. Wellingborough North should also help protect the borough’s villages from speculative planning applications and provide a financial boost.

Speaking last year when it was agreed for negotiations to start, council leader Paul Bell said: “The money we’ll get from selling the land will obviously be welcome, and the development will also bring benefits for the borough as a whole in terms of construction work, additional employment, education and leisure.”