Councillors agree to submit £20m government funding bid for North-West relief road in Northampton

The road aims to ease congestion in the area and to discourage motorists from using some residential roads as rat runs

Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:44 pm
Updated Friday, 11th June 2021, 4:47 pm
The North-West relief road has proven controversial among residents.

The go-ahead has been given to make a bid for £20m of government funding for Northampton’s North West Relief Road.

West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet agreed to submit a bid to the Levelling Up fund at a meeting on Tuesday (June 8).

The project would link the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road in order to increase capacity and mitigate some impact of planned housing growth west and north of Northampton.

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It also aims to ease congestion in the area and to discourage motorists from using some residential roads as rat runs.

The 1.9 kilometre road has been in discussions since 1988 and was granted planning permission last year, despite hundreds of objections and a petition against it.

At this week's meeting, it was resolved that cabinet noted continued progress to deliver the Northampton North West Relief Road; supported the capital investment required to complete this scheme and agreed to progress a bid to the Levelling Up Fund for £20 million.

A report to the cabinet stated scheme estimates have risen significantly since a March 2020 report to Northamptonshire County Council Cabinet, which sought a total funding commitment of £32.532 million with committed funding contributions of £27.13 million.

The cost to deliver the scheme has risen to £54.533 million while committed funding has risen by £5.453 million to £32.583 million.

The report identified how the shortfall can be managed via a combination of a bid to the Levelling Up Fund for £20 million and capital funding of £1.95 million from the council.

With a successful bid to the Levelling Up Fund and increased developer contributions, the balance of the scheme would be met.

The funding secured for the project so far includes £7.93 million from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), and around £20 million in committed contributions from developers building the Dallington Grange, Buckton Fields West and Northampton West housing developments.

The Levelling Up Fund is a £4.8 billion government programme to support investment in infrastructure, such as local transport projects.

Design and build contractor Balfour Beatty has been appointed with works expected to be completed by autumn 2023.

The scheme was identified within the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy as being required to support growth in this area, and planning permission was secured in September 2020.

Phase one of the scheme is the section from the A428 to a roundabout near Grange Farm, just south of the railway line, and will be constructed by the developers of Dallington Grange.

The first section of phase one has already been built as part of the Harlestone Gate development.

West Northamptonshire Council is responsible for building phase two – the section of road across the railway line connecting the developer's road to the A5199 Welford Road.

Several traffic calming measures, and junction improvements are also planned as part of the scheme.