Anger in Rothwell as housing construction traffic is due to use B576

Rothwell North Working Party had campaigned for a link road between the A6 and the Persimmon Homes development.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:45 am
The development plans for Rothwell North

A pressure group in Rothwell that had campaigned for a link road from the A6 to the Persimmon housing development north of the village have expressed their anger after they say they learned that work on a junction is to begin with out a link road from the A6 for construction traffic.

Rothwell North Working Party (RNWP) was set up to represent the needs of Rothwell and Desborough residents to Kettering Council's planning committee and developers and campaigned for the link road.

The group said: "RNWP has learnt that work is due to start on the road junction on the B576 between Rothwell and Desborough to provide access to the new Persimmon development on the west side of the road.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"The junction will be a four-way, traffic light controlled junction. We are devastated to hear that the proposed haul road from the A6 to the development will not go ahead as the landowner has refused permission for use of the existing track."

However, a spokesman for Persimmon Homes Midlands said the road would be being built, but not straight away.

He said: "Part of our planning approval is there is a trigger that once we build a certain amount of houses, we have to build the strategic link road.

"We have not started on site yet."

He added: "We have to get a construction management plan, we work to that and as part of that there will be a route to the site.

"This is still yet to be confirmed. Whatever route is confirmed, we can only use that."

The spokesman said it was not financially feasible to build the road before any other construction took place.

Persimmon Homes is building 700 homes to the west of the B576 between Rothwell and Desborough and Cllr Jim Hakewill wrote on Facebook that the developer claimed it needs to finish 350 houses, half the total number planned, before it can build the road.

Cllr Hakewill also wrote that Persimmon's decision not to build the link road before some of the houses "effectively meant that their profitability was/is more important than the health and well-being of thousands of residents and drivers present and future.

"Because it means that thousands of people will suffer a little from pollution and increased traffic during and after construction, there is no total community cost to set against the developers profit.

"By community cost I mean people who may suffer from traffic pollution, delays to their journeys, congestion on Harrington Road, Fox Street, Greening Road, Desborough Road from Rothwell Town centre."

RNWP is concerned that without the link road all construction traffic will use the B576 to access the site.

"Had our proposed 'Link road first' been accepted by the local authorities much of the disruption, potential pollution and risk of accidents would have been avoided," said RNWP.

Despite RNWP's frustration with the local authority, back in October 2018, despite a petition for the link road gaining 3,500 signatures, Kettering Council said it could not legally ask for it.MP and Cllr Philip Hollobone said at the time that "it was not in the council's gift" to force the developer to build the road first and that the authority had approached the developer but had not been successful.

In 2018, a spokesman for Persimmon Homes Midlands said: "The strategic link road between the B576 and the A6 will be delivered as a part of our proposed Rothwell North development.

"As agreed with Kettering Borough Council, we will deliver the new highway infrastructure once development works on the site are underway."

A spokesman said today that the link road will only be built once a certain number of houses have been built.

RNWP say they are not against the development but are concerned that not enough attention has been paid to traffic management and providing infrastructure to support new housing.

RNWP said: "The site work for the junction will be highly disruptive, given 12,000 vehicles a day use this road and it is particularly busy at rush hours.

"Users of the B576, including pedestrian and cyclist students going to Montsaye Academy and people visiting the health centre will be faced with queues of traffic belching exhaust fumes as drivers try to negotiate the existing choke points at the Greening Road roundabout, the Health Centre bus stop and pedestrian crossing and now the junction development."