South Northamptonshire Council has given its initial backing to a new ‘growth deal’ which would see significant numbers of new homes built in the area over the next three decades.
The council is joining forces with Northampton Borough Council and Daventry District Council, as well as the county council, to lend its weight to the proposed West Northamptonshire Growth Deal.
The deal would see up to 100,000 new homes being built across the whole area by 2050, which is an additional 17,000 more than if current plans were rolled forward.
In return, it could unlock more than £75m in funding for infrastructure projects, such as the proposed Sandy Lane relief road in the South Northamptonshire area.
It would also give the likely new unitary authority planning freedoms that will allow it to resist developments on ‘unallocated land’. This in theory would allow for more ‘sustainable’ growth.
Northampton Borough Council had agreed in principal to submit an outline bid in September, and South Northamptonshire’s cabinet followed suit on Monday October 8. It also agreed to the setting out of a memorandum of understanding between the respective councils.
But there were doubts raised by some SNC cabinet members.
Councillor Rebecca Breese said: “I think we have had very little time to consider this.
“Infrastructure only seems to catch up before we are then expected to do more. I would give some support to it but these growth deals are not about increased standards in living, because the infrastructure doesn’t keep up. So I do have some reservations and I hope that we are not being short changed.”
But Councillor Andrew Grant added: “There is no harm in doing what we have done, but we have not committed to doing it. Once we get a firm offer back we will be in a more informed position as to whether the benefits will be worth it.”