House building in north Northamptonshire is 1,200 homes behind target and the speed infrastructure and affordable housing is coming forward is also behind schedule.
The annual monitoring report of the area’s four councils for 2017/18 pulls together how the plan for growth dictated by the joint core strategy is going so far.
According to latest figures, 1,812 homes were built in 2017/18 which means that since the latest masterplan began in 2011 a total of 11,044 homes have been built in north Northamptonshire. This is 1,206 behind where the strategy had forecast.
Between 2011 and March 2018 3,011 homes were built in Corby, 3,021 in East Northamptonshire, 1,778 in Wellingborough and 3,234 in Kettering. Wellingborough is the area most behind in home building. There have been delays at the large development of Stanton Cross.
An additional 23,954 will need to be built in north Northamptonshire by 2031 to meet the target.
Latest job figures (from 2016/17) show that 3,900 jobs have been created in the area since 2011, with 2,500 of those in East Northamptonshire.
However, while homes are being put up at the expected rate there are problems bring forward key infrastructure.
The monitoring report, which will be discussed at the joint planning unit meeting at Corby Cube on April 25, says: “There are positive headlines to take from this year’s report but equally there are areas where improvement is sought. Continued high rates of overall housing delivery are encouraging, particularly in respect of exceeding the annual target set in the joint core strategy. It is also positive that each local authority area can presently demonstrate in excess of five years’ worth of future housing supply and there are also more settlements delivering their affordable housing requirement as set out in Policy 30 of the JCS. Not only this, it appears the local economy is performing strongly in that north Northants is achieving annual job targets and working towards achieving the overall target set by 2031.
“Despite the positives, there are areas where the requirements of the JCS are currently not being delivered. The level of affordable housing delivery in the monitoring year was mixed. Although some settlements not only met the levels of provision set through JCS Policy 30, but exceeded them, others settlements did not, leading to NN as a whole falling short. Similarly, progress in bringing key infrastructure forward has been patchy and addressing this will be a focus over the coming years with a view to unlocking and accelerating further housing and economic development. “
Infrastructure was dealt a blow when regional development agency SEMLEP pulled the assigned funding for the Isham Bypass at the end of last year as it failed to get the additional funding needed.
A total of 398 affordable homes were built in 2017/18 which accounts for 22 percent of the overall total. The strategy has a target of 20 to 40 percent affordable homes in a development depending on the location. There are few affordable homes being built in villages.
The report also says that for the housing target to be met long term large developments planned in West Corby, Rushden East and Wellingborough North need to make ‘swift progress’. Planning permission is still to be granted for Corby West and no homes have yet been built at Wellingborough North.