Kettering MP arranges minister meeting about £300m funding shortfall

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone will meet Kit Malthouse last this month.
Kettering MP Philip Hollobone will meet Kit Malthouse last this month.

Kettering’s MP will be meeting the minister responsible for infrastructure after a report revealed there is £300m shortfall in funding for North Northamptonshire.

Conservative MP Philip Hollobone will be sitting down with housing minister Kit Malthouse to make him aware of the funding gap highlighted by a recent report commissioned by the area’s joint planning unit.

It revealed that there is a £307m shortfall of cash to build the projects needed to make sure North Northamptonshire can cope with the amount of new houses going up and the numbers of new residents.

Government targets dictate that 35,000 homes must be built in the area in the 20 years between 2011 and 2031.

But there are a large number of earmarked projects – such as a new secondary school for Kettering East and the long awaited Isham bypass – that do not currently have the means of being paid for.

The money can come from various areas such as government funding streams, cash from developers who have to contribute as part of the profit they will make from the new homes and also funds can be allocated by regional development agency SEMLEP.

Mr Hollobone said that after becoming aware of the report he has raised the issue in Parliament.

He said: “I’ve raised the issue directly on the floor of the Houses of Parliament and as a result I now have a meeting with the infrastructure minister on July 17.”

The infrastructure shortfall comes against a backdrop of looming new housing targets for the area as part of the Oxford to Cambridgeshire arc. The Government is proposing that one million new homes are built between the two cities. As part of that there will be an allocation for Northamptonshire although figures have not been talked about in public.

Mr Hollobone, who before becoming an MP was involved in a campaign in the early 2000s to reduce the number of homes then being proposed for Kettering, said the town already has enough new homes planned.

He said: “Certainly as far as Kettering is concerned we have already got more than our fair share of new houses coming down the track so I don’t see any immediate prospect of Kettering having to seek to build any more houses than are already planned.”

Kettering has a large-scale development of 5,500 houses at Kettering East under way although it is behind schedule because of early delays due to developer funding.

He has also said that as soon as there is a new pime Minister in place he will be asking to meet with the new hospital minister to talk about funding for an urgent care hub extension for Kettering General Hospital, which is under more pressure each year as the population increases.Ketteing