A busy road linking east Kettering villages to the town will be closed for four months as major infrastructure works to a huge housing development take place.
Residents and users of Cranford Road will face a five-mile diversion from next month as a 300m stretch from 58 Cranford Road eastbound to bridleway GF6 will be closed to cars, cyclists and pedestrians as work for Hanwood Park takes place.
The news that the road will close from April 17 to August 20 has come as a shock to many who said at meeting for the Kettering East Liaison meeting last Thursday (March 21) they had always been led to believe that the busy road would not need to close. Recently there was a suggestion of a three-week closure but this has now been increased to 16 weeks.
Chairman of Cranford Parish council Stephen Pickard said that those affected should be compensated.
He said: “It cannot be acceptable for people to shrug their shoulders and say this is the price the community has to pay. If it does have to pay, then where is the compensation to these residents. It’s a five-mile detour – that is both time and money.
“It is not acceptable that these people have to pay the full costs. It looks like the private gains are being taken while the social costs are being born by a community.”
Cllr Pickard said his parish had not been provided with any information from the highways authority about alternative bus routes.
A spokesman for contractor White Mountain said the road needed to close for that length of time because there were a number of ‘strategic services’ that run down Cranford Road and there would need to be some deep drainage work.
The development was given planning permission in 2009 and the first homes were finished in 2016 . The site is being developed by Hanwood Park and the long-term plan is to build 5,500 homes in the area. Recently Homes England gave a £70m loan to developers.
Long Harbour, Midtown Capital and Buccleuch Property are involved in the Kettering East and Wellingborough North developments.
This follows £14m given to the Kettering East scheme in 2014 by the Government to get the first 1,750 houses under way.
The closure will also impact on Hayfield Cross Primary School, which is part of the development. A school member who was at the meeting requested that information is given to the school ahead of the Easter half term as a number of parents use Cranford Road to get their children to school.
Kettering councillor Mark Rowley expressed his concerns about heavy vehicles building the new estate going through nearby Cranford.
He said: “It has always been the case that no construction traffic goes through Cranford. Need to make sure none of it goes through Cranford. Disappointed we have not been told about the road closure.”
County councillor Victoria Perry, who represents the Ise ward in Kettering, was also concerned.
She said: “It is such a huge disruption. There seems to be a lack of caring about people who are connected.”
A public meeting will be held in the coming weeks to give an update to residents on the situation.