Council cash is to be used to ensure Corby’s water system can cope with future housing developments in the borough.
Corby Council’s One Corby Policy committee has agreed to use money from its reserves after it was told there is a risk that the Environment Agency will start to object to planning applications unless the capacity of the culvert which serves Corby is increased.
This poses a threat to plans for housing and employment developments in the Corby area so the council is to use some of its reserves on a temporary basis to cover the cost of the improvement works.
A culvert is a channel or tunnel that directs unwanted water away from roads and other obstructions.
With Corby culvert nearing capacity, it is estimated that £389,000 is needed to increase the capacity of the water course.
The report discussed by the committee last week stated: “Given that the maximum capacity of the culvert has almost been reached, this already represents a constraint on further development.
“In order to avoid development in Corby being brought to a halt, it is considered vital to undertake the works now.
“Various potential funding streams have been explored following a previous One Corby Policy committee report but none would be as cost-effective as using the council’s reserves as we are able to borrow at more competitive rates.”
The council has secured £150,000 towards the project from developer contributions and a further £140,000 is expected from definite developments, as well as an additional £60,000 which could come from potential schemes.
However, this does still leave a shortfall of between £99,000 and £32,000.
The commiittee had three options to consider, including if the council did nothing, it would run the risk of development in Corby coming to a halt when the Environment Agency starts to object to new development proposals.
But the committee agreed that the best option was to use the council’s reserves to fund the necessary works.
Members agreed to undertake the necessary improvements to Corby culvert to facilitate future development in the town and gave the go-ahead for the temporary use of council reserves for this purpose at last Tuesday’s meeting.