Families braced for bumper plans to double size of town

Site plan for the building of 2,750 homes in Towcester
Site plan for the building of 2,750 homes in Towcester
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Towcester is on the verge of doubling in size after plans to build 2,750 new homes and create 2,800 jobs were given outline planning permission.

If the final detailed plans are approved, Towcester Vale’s hundreds of homes will spring up south of town to Wood Burcote as part of a mammoth £60 million project.

A new relief road will connect the A5 south and A43 while two primary schools, sports pitches, takeaways and corner shops will be built.

Developers Persimmon Homes and Bloor Homes have also agreed to make contributions to services in the area – know as section 106 money.

They will pump funds into areas including education, public transport, highways, sports pitches and children’s play areas.

Along with a £11.5 million packet to build the two new schools, Sponne School is set for a windfall of £4.1 million to make improvements.

Burcote Road will benefit from a £1.2 million revamp and a new health care facility will be built with a £1.1 million injection.

Public transport will receive a £1.2 million boost and £3.5 million will go towards improving the town’s open spaces.

If full permission for the development is granted by South Northants Council 
following public consultation within the next few months, the developers would aim to begin the work towards the end of this year.

As part of the deal, the A5 relief road must be completed before the 1,017th home is occupied.

But residents in nearby Yardley Gobion have voiced concerns about increased traffic that the development would bring to an area where the roads are already busy.

Colin Hicks, who lives in Moorend Road, thinks the council has taken a ‘very narrow-minded view’ to suggest all traffic will be eliminated by the relief road.

He said: “With 2,750 homes there will be at least 4,000 cars extra.

“It is great that part of the plan is a new relief road connecting the A45 south of Towcester with the A43 as this will almost eliminate the daily congestion on Towcester high street.

“But I think the council has taken a very narrow-minded view and not considered the wider implications of the traffic.

“How many of these new people would be using that road during the morning rush hour?

“During the morning commute it’s the A5 roundabout at Old Stratford that causes traffic to back up past Potterspury and even further - it’s a nightmare to get out.

“This is causing all residents great concern and we have been in discussions with Andrea Leadsom MP about this as it is also damaging the surface of Moorend Road.

Calvin Bell, the council’s 
director of development, said: “With the undoubted impact that a development of this size will have on the town, we 
have worked with the developers to ensure that Towcester retains its charm as a market town while encompassing the requirement for growth.

“To that end the proposals include a substantial amount of green space, and all buildings will be of a high standard of design.”

Stephen Bawtree, 
chairman of the Pegasus Planning Group, acting as agent for Persimmon and Bloor Homes said the planning permission is a ‘key step’ in the process.

The building of the 
development is set to create 4,125 jobs and once the scheme is completed, permanent jobs will involve working on a 
hotel with leisure facilities, a pub restaurant, retail 
space and a new GP surgery.