We are making progress! Over the past few months, I have been holding a series of meetings with the developer of the new southern extension in Towcester (Persimmon, who have responsibility for delivering the road) and the District Council, and these have been incredibly positive on all sides.
As you will probably know by now, under the planning consent granted years ago, Persimmon are only required to build the road by the sale and occupation of the 1,016th house – which could be 2025, 2030, or never. Residents of Towcester and commuters using the A5 are desperate for the road to be built sooner and I have been pushing hard to bring the delivery of the road forward to 2021/22.
The cost of the road, if delivered as originally planned by the 1,016th house, is around £30m, and it has been calculated that it would cost an additional ~£8.5m to build it ahead of schedule. Whilst Highways England have agreed to contribute some money, the District Council, Persimmon and I have been exploring ways to secure the funding required to close the gap. We are close to a solution, and I hope to update residents further in the New Year.
The District Council has also ensured that the road is future-proofed, by securing protected land along the edge of the route, so that it can be upgraded to a full dual-carriageway in the future.
You can find more information on the Relief Road section on my website.