Corby West set to be approved with 675 fewer affordable homes than council's policy dictates

If approved the Corby West development will take 20 years to complete.
If approved the Corby West development will take 20 years to complete.

Plans for the huge Corby West development will be decided this week with the Labour-run council proposing to allow the developer to build 600 fewer affordable homes than its own policy dictates.

Instead of 900 affordable homes being built on the 4,500-home 220-acre greenfield site, the council says it will to allow applicant West Corby Consortium to build as few as 225 homes.

This comes after the consortium, made up of local landowners and house builders, had drawn up a viability assessment saying the 20-year scheme would ‘only’ make a £169m profit if the required 900 affordable homes were included in the deal. The council's own commissioned report said a maximum of 8 percent affordable housing might be affordable.

There will be about £122m worth of section 106 agreements as part of the scheme, with the exact amount is yet to be finalised.

This will go towards paying for facilities such as three on-site primary schools and a secondary school, sports facilities, public transport and highways improvements.

The development, which runs off the A6003 and sits on farmland between the Danesholme and Beanfield estates and the villages of Cottingham and Middleton, has been under discussion for the past decade.

The report from planning officers to the planning committee says: “Though the quantum proposed for Affordable Housing provision (with a minimum of 5%) is below that which is required by the adopted Policy position, the viability exercise that has been undertaken by the developer has demonstrated that the scheme cannot support the 20% provision required. It is therefore considered that in this instance, and based on the proposed viability review mechanism, it is reasonable to approve the scheme based on an initially lower level of provision.”

The amount of affordable housing could rise to eight per cent if the scheme becomes more profitable.

The report goes on to say: “The inherent loss of agricultural land in the locality is more than outweighed by the positive benefits arising from the development itself. The new homes and jobs created, the leisure facilities, schools and health care facilities will have a cumulative positive impact.”

Two local centres will be created, there will be 60 custom builds on the site and in total it is estimated that the new development will house 10,665 residents.

The local highways authority and the Highways Agency had up until late this summer objected to the development because of its impact on the road network, but after intensive talks with the developer, the agencies have given the plans the nod – although with a large number of conditions and a long list of road improvements running right down to the A14 in Kettering.

It is proposed that a private management company run the community assets – for which new residents may have to pay a charge.

Great Oakley Farms Ltd, Rockingham Castle Estate, Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes make up Corby West Consortium.