New proposed route for Isham bypass up for council executive approval

It is currently projected that construction will start in November 2024, with the bypass opening in November 2026

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 12:05 pm

Amended bypass scheme for traffic-blighted Isham will be discussed at the executive meeting of North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) on Thursday (June 16) as existing planning permission expires next week.

Villagers have campaigned for a bypass linking Kettering and Wellingborough for decades to tackle the amount of traffic travelling through the village, which sees more than 25,000 vehicle movements a day.

It has been recommended that the executive change the current preferred route for the A509 Isham Bypass to tie-in to the improvements to the A509 which are being constructed as part of the enormous Symmetry Park warehouse site.

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Isham residents have been campaigning for a bypass to redirect A509 traffic away from the picturesque village

The Kettering end of the bypass plan has needed redrawing to link it to the new roundabout being constructed on the A509 Junction 9 of the A14, now a dual carriageway.

Changes from the original plans include:

the realignment of the A509 north of Fairfield Road to tie-in to the new roundabout being constructed by the developers active travel compliance shallower cuttings from a 1 in 3 inclination to more ‘conservative’ earthworks design with 1 in 5 embankment a reduction in the amount of earth to be removed two of the three ‘drainage attenuation’ ponds have been moved the area of land required for the scheme will increase

No public consultation or exhibitions have been held into the bypass proposals since a public inquiry in 2009, so views of the community on the proposed scheme before the submission will be held ahead of the new planning application in October 2022.

The new route for the proposed Isham bypass comes closer to homes in Fairfield Road than the previous agreed route

As well as preparing the new planning application, work is also ongoing on the preparation of the Outline Business Case for the scheme, for submission to the Department for Transport also in October 2022.

The original Isham Bypass scheme planning permission, had £25m in funding revoked because the remaining £15m for the scheme couldn't be found, and there was frustration in 2020 when it was announced that a business case would have to be completely revised.

All the planning permissions and compulsory purchase orders of land will have to be resubmitted and if residents complain it could lead to another public inquiry.

Work is also ongoing on the preparation of the Outline Business Case for the scheme, for submission to the Department for Transport also in October 2022.

The original plans' planning permission will lapse on June 22

The cost of developing the Outline Business Case and planning application is £2.798m, of which £1.859m has been allocated from grant funding from the Department for Transport, and the remaining £0.939m from NNC.

A bid for Department for Transport Major Road Network funding would be put in by NNC towards the ‘majority’ of the cost of the scheme with at least 15 per cent of total scheme costs found ‘locally’.

The new plans bring the carriageway ‘somewhat closer’ to Fairfield Road, and some Isham homeowners may submit ‘blight claims’ against NNC as their property value may be ‘substantially reduced’ because of the proposed works.

Executive members will hear that if blight claims are successful then “there will be a financial impact on the authority, although much of this impact can be mitigated by subsequent sale of the property”.

The Hill Top/Furnace Lane crossroads outside Little Harrowden would be replaced with a roundabout

Currently the work on the business case, design and planning application is being undertaken by WSP UK Ltd through the council’s highways services contract with KierWSP. This contract is due to come to an end in September 2022.

In order to continue with the work, it has been recommended that NNC procure professional services suitable for providing the skills required.

When built the bypass will commence at the Junction 9 roundabout of the A14 and run in a southerly direction, west of the village of Isham, and rejoin the A509 Kettering Road near Great Harrowden with a new roundabout at Hill Top Road.

NNC currently project that construction will start in November 2024, with the bypass opening in November 2026.

Councillor Martin Griffiths, former leader of the now disbanded Wellingborough Council, said: “In February 2020, the Borough Council of Wellingborough committed £1m from capital funds, from the development of Glenvale Park, towards the creation of the essential strategic design plans for the Isham Bypass and I am therefore disappointed that the target dates are still so far away.

“Residents of Isham and its neighbours will probably remain highly sceptical with the dates and you would hardly blame them after waiting 30 plus years.

“What I do want to see before the next phase of roadworks begin is a well-thought-out plan to both repair and improve the safety of existing routes through the villages of Broughton, Pytchley, Orlingbury and Little Harrowden.

“These roads have taken a real hammering with drivers finding alternative routes in the last six months due to the long delays at Station Road."