Future housing and employment developments in Corby could come to a halt unless work is carried out on a culvert in the town.
Operated by Anglian Water, it is on Willow Brook near the clean water outfall from the sewage treatment works in Weldon Road.
The culvert is nearing capacity and, unless improvement work is carried out, it is feared the Environment Agency will oppose future planning applications in the borough on the grounds that the sewage treatment works will be unable to discharge clean water into Willow Brook.
Corby councillors have now agreed work on the culvert should be carried out at a cost of £305,000.
In 2006 it was estimated that replacing the culvert, to accommodate Corby’s growth until 2021, would cost £1.13m.
The cheaper solution, which involves increasing the capacity of the water course and strengthening the banks, has been agreed by members of the council’s One Corby Policy Committee.
Cllr Chris Stanbra said: “The regeneration of Corby has been remarkable and we must do everything we can to see that it continues.”
Cllr John McGhee said: “It’s essential to Corby’s growth that this work is carried out.”
The £305,000 cost of the work will be covered by £129,182 from Section 106 water cycle strategy contributions.
An application is being made to Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund for the remaining £176,000, as well as an additional £5,000 for administration costs.
The funding would have to be paid back by the council.