Rothwell and Desborough campaigners vow to continue link road fight

Residents handing the petition in with Cllr Jim Hakewill (right)
Residents handing the petition in with Cllr Jim Hakewill (right)

“We’ll carry on the fight” – that’s the message from residents of two towns in the Kettering borough battling plans to build hundreds of homes before a new link road is in place.

Despite gathering 3,500 signatures on a petition by Rothwell and Desborough campaigners who want the road linking the A6 bypass to the B576 to be built before Persimmon Homes start building houses, Kettering Council has refused to accept it because it says it cannot legally ask for what the petitioners want.

The campaigners attended a full meeting of Kettering Council last week after a motion put forward by independent councillor Jim Hakewill asking councillors to vote to put infrastructure first.

At the meeting, the town’s MP Philip Hollobone, who is also a Kettering councillor, told the campaigners that “It was not in the council’s gift” to enforce the developer to build the road first and that the authority had approached the national homes builder but had not been successful.

Chairman of Rothwell North working group Peter Chapman said the group is in support of the new homes but is against construction starting ahead of new infrastructure.

He said: “We would like to communicate to those who signed the petition that we are not prepared for this issue to fizzle out and we will continue to look down every possible avenue to ensure that this infrastructure goes in first.  

“Unfortunately, the elected councillors involved with the process at all levels from government to town, refuse to act of the behalf of their electorate and are hiding behind selective laws.  

“We have seen numerous other developments in the area where common sense appears to have been employed and the infrastructure has gone in first.”

The Rothwell North working group says that construction vehicles from the site will cause congestion misery for Rothwell and Desborough residents as it could pose a danger to schoolchildren walking and cycling to nearby Montsaye school.

Rothwell resident Sarah Showers voiced her concerns to councillors at the meeting.

She said: “I have watched over the years as much needed housing areas have been developed, leaving local area infrastructure groaning as a result of this.

“The communities affected by the Rothwell North development want to ensure that the new development is a valued addition to Rothwell not a sore irritant to Rothwell and Desborough during and after construction.”

Persimmon Homes first put in an application for homes on the site just north of Rothwell in 2007 and outline planning permission was approved in 2017.

700 homes are planned in total and the developer is legally required to build the road after the first 250 homes are built.

A spokesman for Permission Homes Midlands said: “The strategic link road between the B576 and the A6 will be delivered as a part of our proposed Rothwell North development.

“As agreed with Kettering Borough Council, we will deliver the new highway infrastructure once development works on the site are underway.

“Subject to relevant permissions, work will begin on the site early next year with a view to providing much needed housing for local people.”