Planning meetings to determine North-West Relief Road are pulled at the last minute

Two planning meetings that were set to take place within the next week over a controversial Northampton bypass have been cancelled late in the day.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 12:19 pm
Both Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council have scrapped planning meetings over the North-West Relief Road

Northamptonshire County Council has delayed a planning committee meeting that was due to be held on Tuesday (November 19) and rescheduled it for Tuesday December 17 instead.

It had been earmarked to determine whether to grant planning permission for the county council’s own North-West Relief Road scheme.

And a separate planning committee meeting for Northampton Borough Council, which was due to be held tonight (November 14) has been pulled with less than 24 hours’ notice.

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The borough council meeting was to determine whether it wanted to raise any objections against the county council’s scheme. It was still listed as going ahead when viewed on the meetings schedule yesterday. Officers had recommended the council raise no objections.

The 1.6km bypass, which would link the the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road, is expected to cost between £25million to £40million.

In an email on Tuesday (November 12), county council principal development control officer Pete Moor stated: “The reason for the delay in this planning application going before the committee is that the planning authority is still awaiting representations from statutory consultees and the committee report not only needs to reflect these but also consider the other representations received last week.”

The borough council meeting has been rescheduled for December 16, a day prior to the rescheduled county council meeting.

Some residents have argued that the relief road will clog up areas like Welford Road and Brampton Lane, though the county council insists it will reduce congestion and improve access to the motorway and other strategic roads from industry at Moulton Park, Round Spinney and Lodge Farm Industrial Estates.

But Boughton Parish Council had warned the county council this week that it has been given legal advice that granting the scheme would be potentially unlawful and ‘vulnerable to challenge in the courts’. It says that the evidence base being used to support the application was ‘flawed and incomplete’.