Council takes action to push town’s growth

Priors Hall housing development
Priors Hall housing development
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Councillors in Corby have taken action as the continued economic downturn threatens to stall the town’s growth.

Developers make financial contributions towards roads and other community facilities to meet the needs of the growing population, through section 106 legal agreements.

At a meeting of the council’s One Corby Policy Committee on Tuesday, councillors were told that the financial viability of some agreements are now causing concern and that some developers are struggling to meet the requirements.

At Priors Hall and Little Stanion developers are seeking to re-negotiate the terms of the agreements.

In order to alleviate the problem, councillors have agreed to defer developer contributions for such agreements on long-term developments, a practice agreed by the Homes and Communities Agency in April this year in response to the economic downturn.

Under the procedure some of the financial contributions from a developer would be deferred in the hope that land values rise and building schemes create additional profits.

Cllr Chris Stanbra said: “We need to maintain Corby’s growth and I fully support this move.”

Cllr John McGhee added: “We have to continue to build houses and create jobs and we should all welcome this action.”

Each housing project will be the subject of negotiations between the council and the developer to decide what initial financial contribution can be made and what can be deferred.

The viability of developments will be the subject of an independent appraisal to be paid for by the developers.

Councillors were told that if land values fail to rise sufficiently, financial contributions towards roads and community facilities may only be paid in part, or not at all.

With the population of Corby expected to double by 2030, councillors decided deferred developer contributions is a risk worth taking.

Cllr Rob McKellar said: “Development and population growth is vital to Corby’s regeneration programme and it is vital that we approve this recommendation.”

The proposal will now be discussed by the council’s development control committee.