East Northamptonshire council approves Bee Bee Developments’ application for 395 ha scheme in Corby

A plan to build the single largest urban extension in the Milton Keynes growth area has cleared its final hurdle.

East Northamptonshire council, which controls more than one-third of the 395 ha Prior’s Hall site on the outskirts of Corby, has approved Bee Bee Developments’ application to build 5100 homes.

The news is a vital boost for the growth areas, which have come under fire for building fewer homes than other areas in the UK, even though development there is supposed to be expedited.

Corby council, which has jurisdiction over the remaining two-thirds of the site, had given consent nearly a year ago.

The ODPM in effect gave the project the all-clear during the summer when it said it would not call in the application by Bee Bee, which has until now concentrated on commercial and mixed-use developments in London.

The main sticking point was East Northamptonshire council, which had been stalling for nearly a year.

It was the biggest application the council ever had

Bob Lane, Catalyst Corby

The council’s planning committee approved the scheme before Christmas after Bee Bee agreed to increase the proportion of affordable housing in the scheme to 25%, two-fifths of which will be provided on site. The bulk of the housing on the Prior’s Hall site will be three and four-bedroom detached properties, which are in short supply in Corby.

Bob Lane, chief executive of the Catalyst Corby urban regeneration company, said: “It was a big issue for them, the biggest application that East Northamptonshire council has ever had or is likely to see, but I believe that it started to see the benefits from it.”

Alfred Drummond, a spokesperson for Bee Bee, said it would develop some of the homes but would work with specialist housebuilders to deliver the bulk of the site. He said it would be starting on site in March.

Major extension: The Prior’s Hall scheme will add 5100 homes to Corby

Major extension: The Prior’s Hall scheme will add 5100 homes to Corby