Huge 4,500-home West Corby development finally gathers momentum four years after it was given the green light
The 4,500 home development was given the nod by planners, despite major local objections, back in December 2019.
Now archaeological digs assessments have been completed, and the consortium behind the development have asked NNC planners to consider allowing them to alter the phasing of the work following concerns over rising costs.
It had been originally been planned that the first phase of work would begin with 1,100 homes at the Danesholme end of the site, with a new roundabout constructed at the dangerous Danesholme Road junction.
However, the developer has now submitted an application to NNC to allow them to begin at the other end of the development, off a new access road from the A427 Corby to Harborough road. They expect to only build a ‘more manageable’ 349 homes to start with.
Their application to planners states that they are not seeking to ‘water down’ the commitments made as part of the outline planning permission or Section 106 agreement.
But they say that engineering assessments of the cost of the constructing the Danesholme Road access would present them with ‘significant’ commercial ‘viability problems’.
It’s envisaged the Danesholme end of the scheme will now be the second phase of the masterplan, along with the new roundabout.
A letter to planners from the developer says: “Much additional work has been undertaken on engineering challenges and around deliverability. This has resulted in the alternative phasing strategy now being submitted, which the West Corby Consortium believe will allow this project to progress.
"We also believe this proposal brings forward the most attractive access for future residents as the entrance for phase one and provides a better sense of place which will help the development gain traction with customers whilst in its infancy.”
West Corby is a joint scheme between landowners Rockingham Estates and Great Oakley Estates as well as housebuilders Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes.
Alongside thousands of homes will be an home for the elderly, business units, two shopping areas, three primary schools, one secondary school and sports pitches.
Plans for the scheme were first submitted in 2017, and were green-lighted by Corby Borough Council in 2019. It had been hoped that the first residents would move in by the end of 2020 but the pandemic, and spiralling construction costs, put paid to that.
The developers successfully argued that the development would not be commercially viable if they were to provide the required number of affordable homes and so only 225 low-cost homes will be built.
It’s not thought that the scheme will be complete for at least 25 years. A similar-sized scheme, Oakley Vale, which was first started in 2001 is only now entering its final phase and Priors Hall – which will have 5,100 homes when finished – is entering its second and third phases.
Work on the new estate could now start next year.