The Government are investing around £150 million in infrastructure projects in Northamptonshire, unlocking the development of more than 19,000 homes in Corby, East Kettering, and at the A43, for instance. The Government are supporting schemes with almost £80 million, which will together unlock more than 12,500 homes. That is part of more than £10 billion of investment in new infrastructure for housing across England.
That is wonderful news from the Secretary of State, but he missed out one constituency in Northamptonshire and that was Wellingborough. We are planning to build lots of new houses at Wellingborough North, but to realise the full potential of that housing, we must have the Isham bypass. Why can we not get that bypass? It seems to be held up by red tape, so does the Secretary of State agree that the Isham bypass would be an excellent project for the Prime Minister’s Project Speed? Let us get the bypass built.
We want to fast-track major building projects in all parts of the country to fuel the economic recovery and to create jobs, and Project Speed is just one part of that. With respect to the Isham bypass, I understand the Department for Transport has prioritised the project for major road network funding. Northamptonshire County Council is due to submit an outline business case later this year. The council has had to amend the route, and will require fresh planning permission and legal orders, but the Department for Transport’s officials are in touch with the council to discuss how best the scheme can be taken forward. Obviously, if there is anything my Department and officials can do to assist my hon. Friend, we will do it.