£250m funding bid to support housing growth
A bid for government forward funding to support growth around Aylesbury has been approved by Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet.
The £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund, launched by the Government in July to unlock 100,000 new homes across the country, allows councils to bid for up to £250 million.
Buckinghamshire has until Thursday (September 28) to lodge an expression of interest with the Government and, if successful, intends to bid for up to £250m to enable the County Council to be one step ahead of housing developers with infrastructure before homes are built.
County Council Leader Martin Tett said: "When it comes to housing growth, residents always ask where the supporting infrastructure is. Money from the Housing Infrastructure Fund would give us the means to build roads, schools, health provision and the like ahead of the housing."
The County Council Forward Fund bid focuses on Aylesbury as the largest growth area in the county, with more than 15,000 new homes expected in the next 20 years.
If it succeeds, the bid would cover transport, roads, schools, power supply upgrading, flood mitigation, waste services, cycling and walking routes, and enable the council to buy land from different owners and package it together to speed the start of house building.
It would enable progress to be made on some of the outer link roads that will eventually form an orbital route around Aylesbury.
And because the Government has made an explicit connection between the Housing Infrastructure Fund and newly-announced garden towns, Aylesbury’s new Garden Town status is expected to weigh in favour of a bid.
Moreover, Aylesbury sits within the Oxford to Cambridge growth corridor, a current area of interest for government through the National Infrastructure Commission.
The Government says its Forward fund is intended to support schemes that make more land available for housing in high-demand areas and pay for infrastructure to support it.
The County Council's Forward Bid, has the support of district councils and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
IN THE PICTURE: Martin Tett, Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council