Council progresses plans for 'accelerated housing' in West Northamptonshire growth deal

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Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet has agreed in principal to submit an application for a growth deal for the West Northamptonshire area.

The Government sees the area between Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford as making a ‘major contribution’ to the economy and housing supply up to 2050.

Growth deals are being struck to accelerate housing and invest in infrastructure, and the west of the county is hoping to get in on the action.

The deal would see Northampton Borough Council, Daventry District Council and South Northamptonshire Council - the three authorities that would merge to become a unitary authority in West Northamptonshire - commit to more housing and employment opportunities.

This is expected to include a small number of new settlements, such as at Brackley West, Cosgrove and Deanshanger and on a proposed North – South Rail line, running north of Northampton.

West Northamptonshire currently needs to provide 70,000 housing units before 2050, but the Growth Deal will raise this target to 100,000.

In return, they will get planning freedoms that will allow them to resist developments on ‘unallocated land’, which the council hopes will allow a more ‘sustainable’ growth of development.

It would also receive up to £75m to support investment in the transport network which would come with accelerated building work.

Councillor Tim Hadland, speaking back in June during a debate on the growth deal, said that ‘it would demonstrate to government that with some encouragement and some funding, we can do great things’.

The council’s cabinet agreed on Wednesday (September 12) to agree in principle the submission of an outline application for the Growth Deal. Head of Planning Peter Baguley will oversee the details of the application with help from Councillor James Hill, the deputy cabinet member for planning.