Extra land could be released for future housing and employment in Wellingborough following a meeting today about the town’s growth. Council leader Paul Bell met with Chamber of Commerce president Alan Piggot to discuss ways that Wellingborough could keep up with demand in order to compete with neighbouring towns such as Kettering and Corby.
The meeting had been called after the chamber expressed concern at the council's decision to limit the number of new homes being built in the borough. The council had decided to set what they considered to be achievable targets for house building to ensure that infrastructure such as roads and schools could be in place, and also to make sure that developments would be occupied and in the most suitable areas. The chamber believed the targets should be higher in order to attract new businesses and employers to the town. Several areas of the town were discussed as possible sites for future development and the two organisations have agreed to work together from now on.
Alan Piggot said: "We have no doubt that companies want to move into Wellingborough as Northamptonshire is a fast-growing county and a sought after area. We are not going to remain a small town and we need more houses, more schools and more jobs in order to grow. Demand will outstrip supply in the short term and the purpose of this meeting was to talk about releasing land to allow this necessary growth to go ahead. We are representing the views of businesses in Wellingborough and it's only right that these issues were raised today. We needed the chance to put our point of view across and also have the opportunity to understand the council's position."
Cllr Bell said: "It was a very positive meeting. We've always said we welcome the chance to talk to people or organisations that have concerns and ideas, and see if we can agree a way forward. In this case we talked about ways investment could be made in infrastructure and identified a few areas where land could potentially be released. This is obviously just an initial meeting but we all felt it was important to keep the relationship going and have agreed to meet every few months. We all have the same interest at heart - we want what's best for Wellingborough."