Council to consider £20m funding bid for Northampton's North West Relief Road
The controversial relief road aims to reduce congestion but has been acknowledged as a means to open up land for development.
A £20m bid for goverment funding for the construction of Northampton's North West Relief Road is set to be considered by councillors on Tuesday (June 8).
The proposal would see West Northamptonshire Council submit a bid to the Levelling Up Fund, a £4.8 billion government programme to support investment in infrastructure such as local transport projects.
A report to the council's cabinet recommends the authority progresses a bid for the funding.
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.
It also aims to ease congestion in the area and to discourage motorists from using some residential roads as rat runs.
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. Planning permission was secured in September last year.
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.
WN Council is responsible for building phase two which is 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.
The council says development of the new junction on the track bed of the Northampton to Market Harborough railway line will not prevent the reopening of the line in whatever form in the future.
The junction will also provide crossing facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters and horse riders using Brampton Valley Way accessing it from the adjacent car park on Brampton Lane.
Around £32.5 million had previously been secured against the scheme’s revised £54.5 million budget.
The council states 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.
Councillor Phil Larratt, portfolio holder for climate, transport, highways and waste Services on the council, said: “This is a legacy project relative to the future growth of Northampton and will contribute to housing growth and economic expansion across to the wider West Northamptonshire area.
"This road is only a part of the infrastructure required to facilitate development to the north of Northampton, with the Northern Orbital Road, a priority of West Northamptonshire Council, being the most important, especially for the settled community.
"However, it is important we put the necessary infrastructure we can in place to support this growth”.