Growth in homes, infrastructure and renewable energy prompts Midlands planning expansion

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 7 Oct 2015

Kettering market placeA Midlands council is looking to expand its planning team on the back of rising interest and investment in homes, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Kettering Borough Council has a large growth agenda centred around an urban extension for 5,500 homes and Kettering Energy Park which will include a wind farm, hundreds of solar panels, a biomass energy plant and anaerobic digestion facilities.

Head of development services Rob Harbour told Planning: “This is one of the largest growth areas in the UK and our business base has recently been growing at five times the national average.

“Fortunately with all our development plans we secured government funding for infrastructure, which is vital to be able to deliver growth.

“A major stumbling block is how to deliver infrastructure: our urban extension east of Kettering will need a new junction to an A-road, and that alone is costly – around £40m.”

Harbour added: “We also have a significant amount of renewable energy development including 19  wind turbines consented and an 11-hectare solar farm that recently won consent.”

The council is looking to recruit a senior development officer and a development officer

“We have plenty to keep us busy and are punching above our weight, given the size of the borough, in terms of development and renewable energy potential", Harbour said.

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