On Monday 25th September 2017 Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet have approved a bid for government forward funding to support growth around Aylesbury.
The £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund was launched by the Government in July 2017 to unlock 100,000 new homes across the country. Councils are allowed to bid for up to £250 million.
The deadline that Buckinghamshire County Council has to lodge an expression of interest with the Government is Thursday 28th September 2017. If successful Buckinghamshire County Council 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.‘
With more than 15,000 new homes expected in the next 20 years the County Council Forward Fund bid focuses on Aylesbury as the largest growth area in the county.
If successful 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.
As 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.
Aylesbury also sits within the Oxford to Cambridge growth corridor which is 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.