We need 18,000 new homes by 2021

The rate of house building in the county needs to accelerate quickly to find homes for a fast growing number of people.

According to documents produced by the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit report, nearly 18,000 homes need to have been built between 2011 and 2021.

Only 15,200 were built in the previous two decades and there are fears the state of the economy will mean not enough are being built.

The planning unit report says: “Demographic forecasts indicate that changes in the existing population births, deaths and household formation will give rise to a need for around 8,300 additional homes in North Northamptonshire over the period 2011 to 2021.

“Analysis of council housing registers indicates that, in addition to this need arising from ‘natural change’ in the existing population, there is a current backlog of un-met need for around 1,700 households.

“This is estimated on the basis of those households which have no permanent home of their own.

“They are recorded on 2013 housing registers as living with family and friends, of no fixed abode or in supported housing.

“As well as meeting locally arising needs, north Northamptonshire has historically accommodated significant levels of in-migration.

“New projections indicate that, if past trends continue, north Northamptonshire could be home to 15,600 additional households between 2011 and 2021.”

But one MP, Wellingborough and Rushden’s Peter Bone, says improved infrastructure has to be put in place before any large-scale expansion.

He said: “We know we are building thousands of new houses in Wellingborough, and there will be others in Kettering and Corby.”

Mr Bone wants a new urgent care centre to be built at Isebrook Hospital, and he added: “There are lots of other campaigns to improve the infrastructure in our area.

“It’s infrastructure before expansion, to get in place all the things we need.

“Rushden Lakes is really important for us. We need these jobs, we need this development.

“These are things that need to be done before the development arrives.”

The four local authorities in the north of the county have identified numerous sites for new homes and many have planning permission. However, building work has slowed due to the recession.

The report says Corby needs 5,750 new homes, East Northants needs 3,217 properties, Kettering needs 4,484 and Wellingborough needs 4,381.

Only Wellingborough has yet to identify enough sites for homes to meet the local demand.