Our campaign for the vital early delivery of the Towcester relief road rumbles ever on, and I am very pleased to announce that we have made some progress in recent weeks.
Earlier in January I held a meeting with the developers, Persimmon and Bloor Homes, alongside representatives from South Northants Council and the Towcester Bypass Action Group. It was agreed by all that the early delivery would be of enormous benefit to local residents and those who commute along the A5 through Towcester, as well as improve traffic flow for construction vehicles working on the Towcester Sustainable Urban Extension.
The developers have a requirement under the planning agreements to build the relief road after a certain number of the new houses have been occupied; bringing this forward would require financial help to cover the cost of the additional interest involved in borrowing the money to build ahead of schedule. We are currently finalising with the developers exactly how much additional money would be required and we are exploring options to fund this.
Last week the Council and I met with Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Transport, to put forward our case for early delivery. Robert was most sympathetic, especially given the air quality management areas in Towcester along the A5, and he was impressed that we had brought a project to him that had all the necessary approvals and agreements already in place. We are not asking the Department to fund something from scratch themselves! Robert has undertaken to go away and, with his officials, look at other existing projects that may be running behind schedule which might free up the necessary funds to help us along.
I am intending to host a public meeting in Towcester in due course to discuss the available options once we have all the information, as I firmly believe that local residents should be the ones to make the decision on the delivery of the relief road. I will, of course, continue to keep Towcestrians and others updated through my website.