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Latest update on Towcester Relief Road

Author: Laura Emily Dunn - Conservative Published: 6th December 2022 11:55

A number of constituents have written to me asking for an update on the precise situation with regard to planning requirements for the new housing in Towcester

 

Dame Andrea Leadsom MP for South Northamptonshire writes to AboutMyArea/NN12 "A number of constituents have written to me asking for an update on the precise situation with regard to planning requirements for the new housing in Towcester, progress on the relief road, delays to the opening of the A5 roundabout, improvements to the town centre proposed by National Highways and also on the tax payers' money that I negotiated to support Persimmon's extra costs of delivering the relief road earlier than their planning consent dictates.

 

"I have received the following reply from National Highways and West Northamptonshire Council on the areas of their responsibility, and I expect to receive an update from Persimmon shortly at our monthly meeting. I will continue to press for faster progress."

 

 National Highways and West Northamptonshire Council on the areas of their responsibility, and I expect to receive an update from Persimmon shortly at our monthly meeting. I will continue to press for faster progress

National Highways and West Northamptonshire Council on the areas of their responsibility, and I expect to receive an update from Persimmon shortly at our monthly meeting. I will continue to press for faster progress

 

www.andrealeadsom.com

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Comments

Ian McCord
At 10:47 on 7th December 2022, Ian McCord commented:
No mention of the fact that Persimmon are in breach of their planning conditions to have the A5 roundabout and the first part of the Towcester Relief Road to the second roundabout before the occupation of the 800th house.

However, it is good to see confirmation that the funding to bring the road earlier than the 1016th house is not met. I fear that the 1016 condition will not be achieved given where they are and there is no work on the A43 connection.

Can we now pressurise National Highways to ensure that the £3.8 is now directed toward implementing the Option 1 proposals they have consulted upon that have a great deal of support?

peter k
At 12:36 on 7th December 2022, peter k commented:
The update from Dame Andrea was most welcome.

My concern, with the project and more importantly the 106 money Towcester handed over to the developers to enable early finish of the road, looks very likely to fail in its task.

If so, I do hope plans are in hand to "claw back" the proportion of money not used, as agreed in the transfer?
Ian McCord
At 09:25 on 8th December 2022, Ian McCord commented:
Peter, I am unsure how many times I have tried to correct your misunderstanding and erroneous claims in relation to the Section 106 and the Persimmon development.

Not a single penny of S106 money has been given TO Permsimmon to deliver the road.

To the contrary, Persimmon have to give money to the council for use as set out in the legal agreement. For example, the new science block at Sponne was financed, in part, using the £1.2m S106 money from this development when the 500 house trigger was met. Another similar amount is due at 1000 houses.

The letter in the article clearly states that the conditions to drawn down £3.9m that was available have not been met, so therefore this money will not be used as it was intended.
peter k
At 12:17 on 8th December 2022, peter k commented:
Thank you Ian, for that clarification.

Am I to understand that the money passed to Sponne is part of the 106 money being returned? This is unclear from the Highways letter that merely states "that to date" it has not been used by the developers.

It is a great deal of money and many in Towcester felt that the road's finish date should have been clear in the contract taken on by the builders in the first place.

Again thanks for taking up the matter with me.

Regards

Peter Kelly
Ian McCord
At 18:53 on 9th December 2022, Ian McCord commented:
Peter, the money mentioned in the letter was completely separate from S106 money.

S106 is paid by the developers to the council to fund specific things that are stated in the agreement and at trigger points, usually when a number of houses are built.

The Sponne money was due, as 500 houses were built. The next payment for Sponne is due at 1000 houses.

The cash to incentivise the road was coming from National Highways, outwith, separate to and irrespective of, the S106.

The finish ‘date’ of the road is before the occupation of the 1016th house. When that will occur is in the developer’s gift coupled with market conditions etc.

However, my fear is that with 800 now built and the condition that says the first part at the A5 end of the road has been breached, it would appear to me that 2024 is not unreasonable to have 1016 completions of homes built.

I can see no evidence of work commencing on the A43 junction which is technically more difficult than the A5, therefore I have concerns that this condition will be missed.

WNC must make clear that 1016 is a red line if the Towcester Relief Road is not open end to end by the completion of the 1016th house, they will take action by way of court injunction or enforcement Stop Notice, or whatever, to prevent the sale of further homes.

It is too late to prevent the first breach, (the second actually), despite me bringing to WNC attention in April when 700 were occupied.

Ian McCord
Cllr for Deanshanger
Ian McCord
At 18:53 on 9th December 2022, Ian McCord commented:
Peter, the money mentioned in the letter was completely separate from S106 money.

S106 is paid by the developers to the council to fund specific things that are stated in the agreement and at trigger points, usually when a number of houses are built.

The Sponne money was due, as 500 houses were built. The next payment for Sponne is due at 1000 houses.

The cash to incentivise the road was coming from National Highways, outwith, separate to and irrespective of, the S106.

The finish ‘date’ of the road is before the occupation of the 1016th house. When that will occur is in the developer’s gift coupled with market conditions etc.

However, my fear is that with 800 now built and the condition that says the first part at the A5 end of the road has been breached, it would appear to me that 2024 is not unreasonable to have 1016 completions of homes built.

I can see no evidence of work commencing on the A43 junction which is technically more difficult than the A5, therefore I have concerns that this condition will be missed.

WNC must make clear that 1016 is a red line if the Towcester Relief Road is not open end to end by the completion of the 1016th house, they will take action by way of court injunction or enforcement Stop Notice, or whatever, to prevent the sale of further homes.

It is too late to prevent the first breach, (the second actually), despite me bringing to WNC attention in April when 700 were occupied.

Ian McCord
Cllr for Deanshanger
peter k
At 12:47 on 10th December 2022, peter k commented:
All much clearer, but why did Andrea Leadsom announce at the consultation meeting that the town's 106 money was to be passed to Persimmon to speed up the road building? The cause of my confusion.

However, the question does remain, which is why the Highways Department felt it acceptable to spend £3.8 million of public money to speed up the road's completion, a matter that could have been stipulated in the road building contract.

It is also strange, from your account Ian, that the transfer of the agreed 106 money is dependent on the completion of a particular number of houses. I just cannot see the incentive here?

I am pleased to hear that you are as concerned about the completion, but I do wonder where WNC stands on this matter. The original article to this item does not clarify anything!!

Peter Kelly

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