Work to start on long awaited Towcester bypass next month after final planning permission is granted

Construction on the long awaited Towcester relief road is set to start ‘within the next few weeks’ after councillors approved the final part of planning permission for the scheme.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 7th February 2020, 3:54 pm
The Towcester Relief Road will connect the A43 and A5 to the south of the town

Plans for the bypass, which would connect the A43 and A5 to the south of the town, have been circulating for almost 30 years but will now finally come to fruition.

It is hoped that the single carriageway 40mph bypass will help remove some of the large volumes of traffic that pass through the historic town centre, especially heavy goods vehicles.

Councillor Roger Clarke has been fighting in favour of the relief road for many years. He said: “It’s going to drive traffic away from the town centre, which is important for air quality. It will also help people get back the ability to move around the town, improve pedestrianisation and the shops will become vibrant once more. Without question Towcester is getting its heart back.”

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The road was given outline planning permission in March 2015 as part of a Persimmon Homes site for 2,750 homes to the south of town.

The developer is responsible for bringing the bypass forward as part of the conditions of that planning approval, with it being funded from section 106 money from the developer. Highways England is also estimated to putting £4 million towards the scheme, which is estimated to cost up to £38 million in total.

It was originally agreed for the housing developer to build the relief road once it had built the 1,016th home – with no time limit. But that was changed to have the road finished by the end of 2020 or 2021 at the latest.

And yesterday (February 6) a reserved matters application from Persimmon, relating to access, design and water drainage was unanimously approved by members of South Northamptonshire Council’s committee at The Forum in Towcester.

It was the final planning hurdle for the bypass, with work now expected to start in March and taking between 12 to 18 months to complete.