Whilst I know that residents in Towcester have been enjoying the lack of traffic along the A5 through the centre of town and holding street parties, I am very aware that some local businesses are seriously struggling.
The closure has only served to reinforce the town’s desperate need for a relief road so that we can permanently banish non-local HGVs from Towcester, whilst enabling other vehicles and residents to more easily access the town’s shops and services, and I am very much still focused on securing an agreement that will allow the road to be built long before the current agreed threshold of the 1,016th house on the Towcester Vale site being sold and occupied.
Alongside Cllr Ian McCord and Cllr Roger Clarke at South Northants District Council, I had a very productive meeting with Simon McDonald and Paul Carvey of Persimmon Homes. We discussed a number of options that would close the funding gap required to bring forward the delivery of the road, and Persimmon and the Council have agreed to explore one approach in more detail which they feel may work for both parties. At present, due to commercial sensitivities whilst this approach is considered, I am unable to say anything more specific, except that should the agreement be reached then we would hope the road could be opened in 2021 – some considerable years ahead of the anticipated build schedule.
As soon as I can provide more detail I will do, and I will be meeting with Persimmon and the Council in mid-December to discuss progress and next steps. As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of help on this or any issue.