Council needs extra £1million to get St James link road back on track in Northampton

The link road has yet to be built due to a change in finances
The link road has yet to be built due to a change in finances

An extra £1million needs to be found by Northampton Borough Council if the St James link road plans are to be revived.

The scheme, which would connect St James Mill Road and St James Mill Road East, has been met with delays after incurring additional costs due to the discovery of contamination in the ground.

The pause in progress continues to frustrate residents who hope it will help ease congestion, especially on Saints and Cobblers match days. But unless the council can find an extra £1million the road will remain unbuilt.

Leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We are still trying to find another £1million. It’s now going to cost over £4million. It’s gone from something that was originally going to be half that. I know it’s important to residents, but we just can’t find that money at the moment.”

After years of discussions, work appeared to be taking steps forward when the council appointed KierWSP in January 2018 to finalise the design, carry out site investigations and produce estimated costs.

Since then, exploratory work has revealed that contamination in the ground, and water run-off problems, means the cost of the project has doubled.

Roughly £600,000 of funding has already been secured from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) as part of the original costings.

But Labour leader Councillor Danielle Stone said: “It’s been promised and promised again. This is an important part of enhancing that area and giving access to businesses. It’s shameful that it’s not been done.”

As well as easing congestion, it is hoped that the road would improve access to the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, and to brownfield land for industrial and commercial development.