Half of a new relief road in Northampton is set to open soon to thousands of motorists

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Concerns still surround the unfinished other half of the road

Half of a brand new relief road is set to open soon to thousands of motorists – but concerns still surround the unfinished other half.

Sandy Lane, between Duston and Harpole, has been closed to thousands of motorists since June for reconstruction works as part of wider plans to build hundreds of new homes in the area.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Developers, Miller Homes, are in the process of building the northern section of the new Sandy Lane Relief Road (SLRR), which sits parallel to the old Sandy Lane.

Here's how the new northern section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road was looking in JanuaryHere's how the new northern section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road was looking in January
Here's how the new northern section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road was looking in January

Miller Homes has revealed the northern section of the road will reopen in April, although an exact reopening date is yet to be confirmed.

However, the northern section of the road will join up with the original Sandy Lane and not the southern section of the relief road, aka ‘the road to nowhere’.

A Miller Homes spokesman said: “We continue to work alongside West Northants Council (WNC) to complete the Norwood Farm section of the Sandy Lane Relief Road (SLRR) and are on track to open the first phase to traffic in April, via a temporary connection to Sandy Lane.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The multi-million pound SLRR will provide a vastly improved transport infrastructure to the area and whilst we fully understand the short term challenges imposed by the road closures, these are necessary precautions to enable works to be completed safely and deliver long term benefits to the community.”

The developers building the Western Gate housing estate, Vistry Group, have been contacted for comment about the southern section of the SLRR.

Construction of the southern section of the road stopped more than a decade ago when proposals for new homes nearby fell through.

In January 2024, deputy leader of WNC councillor Adam Brown said the completion of the southern section is contingent upon securing a final section 106 agreement with the landowner.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Brown has been contacted for an update but has not yet responded to this newspaper.

Harpole Parish Council (HPC) has recently voiced “strong dissatisfaction" with WNC over the ongoing delays surrounding the southern section.

In a letter to Chris Heaton-Harris MP, HPC said it was ‘extremely unhappy’ with how construction is unfolding, saying that in the last six months the village has seen ‘unnecessary and unacceptable traffic volumes’, which would be alleviated by the the construction of the southern section of the relief road.

WNC has been contacted for comment on this.

The two businesses in Sandy Lane – Sandy Lane Plants and Threadgold scrap yard – say construction works have severely impacted their business in the past nine months, and they are now both calling for compensation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sandy Lane Plant owners Gary and Cheryl Barnett said: “We're angry. It feels like we're living in a building site. All we've had is nine months of aggro on top of aggro. It’s beyond a joke. I feel we’re going have to put up with this for the next five years.

"WNC should not have given Miller Homes planning permission to close the top of Sandy Lane. They should have left it as a through road because they could have built all the houses behind, made their money to fund the new road, but not close the original Sandy Lane until they'd finished the new Sandy Lane Relief Road and then none of this disruption would have happened.”

Developers told this newspaper that any scenarios around compensation would be down to WNC because they gave the go-ahead to the plans.

This newspaper awaits comment from WNC.