Council must move fast or risks losing £3.9m Corby road cash

Corby Council needs to put up more than £50,000 to pay for design plans for the road mitigation works near Priors Hall or risks losing a £3.9m government grant.

By Sarah Ward
Monday, 2nd December 2019, 10:05 am
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 10:06 am
Money was allocated to the road back in February 2018 but design works have been slow to come forward.
Money was allocated to the road back in February 2018 but design works have been slow to come forward.

The council won a bid from the Governnment’s Home Infrastructure Fund in February 2018 to pay for works at the A43/Steel Road roundabout and access road to the Priors Hall development.

Now it needs to work with local highways authority Northamptonshire County Council to design the scheme. A report to be considered next week says Government agency Homes England has told the council it needs to move swiftly and if the two councils cannot agree the funding could be pulled.

The cost of the design work is anticipated to be £57,000 and councillors on the One Corby Policy Committee will be asked to agree the sum on Tuesday (Dec 3).

The report says: “The mitigation measures proposed are linked to a trigger point on the existing Outline Permission for Priors Hall Park.

“This stops development from extending beyond 1999 homes.

“As of 1 April 2019 there were 1137 houses completed at Priors Hall Park and based on current projections the trigger of 1999 homes is estimated to be achieved in 2-3 years’ time. If the design works are not progressed within the next few months, then Homes England will withdraw their offer of funding, and the area will lose the circa £3.97m grant funding – and the support to our growth aspirations that it brings.

“The junction mitigation will remain a necessity in terms of the current revised application for Zones 2 and 3 at Priors Hall Park, meaning that the costs of its delivery will fall into the negotiations around viability.”

The authority can reclaim the design fee if the grant comes in. However if the scheme is not deemed viable the council will not be able to reclaim the £57,000. Corby Council has also secured £10,000 from the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit’s Large Capacity Fund towards the cost.

The report does not say why it has taken the councils so long to get to the design works stage.

Officers are recommending councillors approve the design works funding.