The long-planned Corby West development has been given the backing of national and local highways agencies, but only if there are major works on existing road networks and new cycleways.
The particulars of how the roads around the 4,400-home development off the A6003 on greenfield land will cope with the extra traffic had been a sticking point that has held back the development from coming forward to planning authority Corby Council.
But now after two years of wrangling it appears that the developer, the Highways Agency – which controls the strategic road network of motorway and major trunk roads – and Northamptonshire Highways, which looks after all other roads, have come to an agreement on what should be done.
The proposed 660-acre development sits on land between the established Corby housing estates of Beanfield and Danesholme and the villages of Cottingham and Middleton.
So that residents can enter Corby West, the developer is proposing three entrances. The ‘southern entrance’ would be at the A6003/Danesholme roundabout and would include a toucan crossing and a dual carriageway into the site.
The second ‘northern entrance’ would be close to the water tower on the A6003 and include traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing.
The third entrance would come off the A427 which connects Corby and Market Harborough and include a link road and a cycleway connecting the A427 with the Corby Road.
There will also be a series of junction improvements at five roundabouts on the A6003 and A43.
In a 20-page response Northamptonshire Highways sets out its position which it says has been come to after long discussions with the applicant and investigation of all highway related matters.
It says: “Of particular concern is the impact on the A6003 and the A43 to the A14. The LHA would not wish to see any significant increases in traffic through the adjacent villages as a result of this development (which would most likely occur if the routes to the A14 become severely congested). Given the size of the development, and therefore the length of time required to fully build out, these impacts will be experienced for a significant period of time.”
Altogether the local highways agency wants a series of conditions attached any planning permission given including a limit on the number of houses until a thorough route is built through the development.
It also says it would withdraw its support if the cycleway connecting the A427 to Corby Road was not secured on ‘highway safety grounds’.
It says: “It is the position of the local highways agency that the development, with its retail; employment; and, educational facilities will be a trip attractor for residents of the villages to the north of the site. In particular there is likely to be school children walking and cycling to the site from north of the A427. It is therefore imperative that safe and appropriate cycle/footway and crossing facilities are secured from this development.”
And it is asking for £2.8m towards public transport as part of a 106 planning agreement from the developer. It also wants the developer to contribute £250,000 which can be used to deal with any ‘unforeseen impacts’ on local villages due to the development.
Highways England wants mitigation work at junction 7 of the A14 before any house is occupied on the site.
The development is being proposed on land owned in part by local landowners Rockingham Estates and Great Oakley Estates.
The homes will be built by national builders Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments. The applicant submitted a viability report earlier this year saying the 880 affordable homes originally proposed for the site would make the development financially non-viable and yield a £169m profit as opposed to a £196m profit with no affordable homes.
Corby Council has said the final proposal on affordable homes will go to the planning committee.
A date for a planning decision has yet to be made public.
Sarah Ward, Local Democracy Reporting Service