• Issue 49

  • Jul 2019

The Source

Road projects in Surrey and Cornwall granted £142m to unlock 8,500 homes

Two Housing Infrastructure Fund grants totalling £142 million are set to help deliver 8,500 new homes the government has announced.

Surrey County Council will receive £95 million to pay for road improvements, buying land and connecting utilities in Woking to “unlock land to build up to 4,500 homes in the town” according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The money will also be used to widen the Victoria Arch Bridge, the MHCLG said, adding that the project is “expected to significantly reduce congestion in the area, as well as opening up land for housing”.

As well as this, Cornwall Council will receive £47 million for a new 3.5km-long access road to unlock sites for up to 4,000 homes.

The Northern Access Road will run parallel to the north of the existing A390 between Threemilestone and Treliske “connecting sites from the A390 in the west to the Royal Cornwall Hospital and employment hub in the east”, the housing ministry said.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for planning and economy Bob Egerton said: “Our communities need appropriate infrastructure and the delivery of the Truro Northern Access Road is key to that, so we can ensure the needs of residents are front and centre.”

A planning application for the road will be submitted in the spring of next year the authority has said and, subject to approval, work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The £5.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was launched in July 2017 with an initial pot of £2.3 billion to help deliver up to 100,000 homes in England.

There are two types of grant are available from the fund. Marginal viability grants of up to £10 million are available to provide “final or missing” piece of infrastructure to unlock housing sites. Upper-tier authorities are also eligible to bid for forward funding grants of up to £250 million for “strategic and high-impact infrastructure schemes”.

The fund has already been topped up twice since its launch, first in November 2017, when chancellor Philip Hammond pledged an extra allocation of £2.7 billion, and again in October last year when a further £500 million commitment was announced.

Earlier funding rounds have seen £717 million allocated to four projects intended to deliver more than 33,000 homes and £102 million for a link road in Carlisle to enable the development of a 10,000-home urban extension.