A new junction is to be added to the A14 to cope with the impact of more than 5,000 more homes in the East Kettering development.
Kettering Council’s planning committee met on Tuesday and gave the nod to a scheme to close the east-facing slip roads at Junction 10 and build a new junction – 10a – about a mile further along the dual carriageway.
Several options for the A14 had been considered by the Highways Agency before Tuesday night’s meeting but all but two of those were discarded.
Of these, option C was approved. Option B would have seen the complete closure of Junction 10 and Junction 10a built as a replacement.
However, at Tuesday’s meeting, Kettering Council’s development manager Peter Chaplin said the closure of Junction 10 would have a major impact on businesses and residents in the south of the town.
He added that option C had required special consent from the Department for Transport because the proximity of the new Junction 10a to Junction 10 breaks Highways Agency policy.
Mr Chaplin pointed out that the decision on Tuesday was only a general consent – the design of the new junction would be decided at a later date.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Maurice Bayes said: “Option C is still not ideal but it does seem to be the best solution overall.
“I would not support an option which throws additional traffic on to Junction 10 as there is already a lot of congestion there.”
Cllr Michael Brown added: “Option C isn’t ideal – but we can’t go down the route of having all the slip roads open at junctions 10 and 10a because it is against Highways Agency policy.
“Option C is the best option which the framework of the law allows us.”