Government delays have led to promised Corby road cash not coming yet

Millions for road improvements promised to Corby Council by Government to unlock further house growth at Priors Hall may never come to fruition, but the authority has decided to plough ahead with design plans.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 1:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 1:33 pm
The Government promised the road cash so that Corby Council could make improvements to the Steel Road/A43 roundabout back in February 2018.

The Government’s Homes Infrastructure Fund projects were announced to great fanfare at the start of last year when then chancellor Philip Hammond said that 110 councils would receive £866m through the Marginal Viability Fund for new infrastructure projects.

Since then – as first reported by industry website Inside Housing – the deal has lessened significantly with now around 70 councils in line for a smaller pot of cash.

Corby Council is one of the local authorities still unsure whether it will get the £3.9m of money it was promised in February 2018, but at last night’s One Corby meeting the councillors voted to spend £57,000 so that the local highways authority can come up with designs for improvements to the A43 Steel Road roundabout near to Priors Hall.

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The Government must then agree to the scheme and if it does not Corby Council will not be able to claim the cash back.

Council leader Tom Beattie said Brexit had played its part in the funds not coming forward.

He said: “Trying to get a decision from government has been extremely difficult. Government seems to be bogged down with the whole Brexit thing, it does not surprise me that they have sat on their hands on this one.”

Planning consultant Alex Jelly said the council had been working with Homes England to ‘iron out some of the details’ and that ‘progress has been slower than anticipated.’

Road improvements must be made in the area before 1,999 homes are built at Priors Hall or according to planning agreements development will have to stop.

A report to the council projects the 1,999-home trigger point will be reached in two or three years.

The North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit revealed earlier this year there is a £307m infrastructure funding shortfall in the area.