East Northamptonshire residents turned out in their hundreds for the first glimpse of proposals for a long-planned new housing development in Rushden.
More than 500 people went along to the two events staged yesterday (June 6) and Wednesday to reveal the concept for the newly-named High Hayden development to the east of Rushden and Higham Ferrers off the A6.
The development, which has been talked of for more than a decade, will bring 2,600 homes to the area, with a planning application due to be submitted before the end of this year.
If planning is approved, work is anticipated to start in 2021 and should be fully completed within 12 years.
The site is being developed by a consortium of Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes and the Camland Group.
The development will include two primary schools, a secondary school, a cricket pitch, country park and cemetery. There will also be an employment zone for offices.
David Bainbridge from Bidwells, the agent acting on behalf of the development consortium, said: “We are hoping the development will add positive value to the area. The build will come forward in phases with 600 homes being built in the first instance.”
He also said the developers were in discussions with health organisations about a health hub and the primary school – which would be paid for out of 106 planning contributions from the developers – would be built early on in the process.
The site land is part owned by the Duchy of Lancaster – the Queen’s estate – as well as other local landowners. The consortium will gain the planning permission and then purchase the land, with legal agreements already in place.
There were not any housing designs on show at the exhibition but Jim Rawlings from Barratt Homes said a housing code had been agreed with the Duchy of Lancaster and the style will be influenced by the existing Victorian and Edwardian homes in the area.
The housing will be a mix of one to five-bedroom housing and there is the possibility there could be some plots for bungalows. Barratt and Taylor Wimpey will both build 1,100 homes and the Camland Group will deliver the remaining 400.
The site comes off the A6. There are no plans to make any major changes to the road but there are plans for links across the road from the west side of the A6.
The area has been marked out in the adopted joint core strategy – the masterplan for the north of the county – as one that will have housing.
The development is one of seven large developments currently being progressed in North Northamptonshire.
The pace of development at the sites has been slower than hoped and a number of sites have been held up because of infrastructure and road network issues. Developers bringing forward the plans have also suffered financial problems.
Work is now moving at Priors Hall and Weldon Park in North East Corby with hundreds of homes built. Homes are also going up at Stanton Cross in Wellingborough and Hanwood Park in Kettering.
Plans are still to be approved for the Tresham Garden Village near Deene and the Corby West development.