By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
HAMPSHIRE County Council has agreed to manage the M27 Junction 10 improvements scheme now that the £81 million funding is just about in place.
Changing the current junction to what is termed an ‘all moves’ intersection is seen as the ‘key to unlock’ the £1 billion, 6,000-home Welborne Garden Village development in north Fareham.
In October, 2019, The Globe reported that Fareham Borough Council’s Executive Leader Seán Woodward had said there would be, “… no planning consent until we know the money is in place” to finance the changes at Junction 10.
Similarly, the county council was not willing to be the scheme’s delivery body until it could be assured the financial risks would be fully underwritten.
However, the financial deal is not quite ‘done and dusted’.
Councillor Woodward said: “All parties have been working to find a solution to funding the M27 junction improvement, including Buckland Developments which has pledged up to £50 million through revisions to their planning application, and the Government which has offered a Housing Infrastructure Grant of £42M along with Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire County Council.”
But the county council notes: “Homes England [Housing Infrastructure Grant] funding must be agreed”.
The total funding of £92 million includes a £10 million contingency – to be underwritten by Buckland Development Limited – should construction costs rise.
‘This will be the biggest transport scheme
that we have ever delivered’
The Junction 10 improvements will include the complex construction of an ‘all moves’ junction on the M27 involving a new motorway underpass and three new slip roads.
Councillor Rob Humby, the county council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member of Economy, Transport and the Environment, accepted: “This will be the biggest transport scheme that we have ever delivered and we do not underestimate the magnitude of the task.
“As Highway Authority for the local road network, our transport planners and engineers successfully manage the development and delivery of large transport projects on our own network all the time. However, managing such a technically complicated and demanding project on the Highways England network is infinitely more challenging, with greater risks.”
The county council expects the construction of the new junction could begin in 2023, though this assumes all the funding and agreements can be put in place, and an approved design completed.
The first step in meeting this target comes on Friday – July 23 – when Fareham Borough Council’s Planning Committee will consider the revised planning application.
There have been six public
consultations so far
The officers’ report to the meeting recommends that outline planning permission for the Welborne Garden Village is granted but subject to 73 conditions, 13 of which relate to the proposed changes to Junction 10 of the M27.
A development of the size envisaged in the Welborne plan brings with it many varied considerations – from the provision of health and education services to noise and biodiversity – and has, therefore, been controversial.
Provision of affordable homes
There have been six public consultations so far, the latest two of which – in January and June this year – have received concerns about the provision of affordable homes in the village.
As reported in The Globe a month ago, Fareham Borough Council’s revised Local Plan would require that 40 percent of the dwellings in a development such as Welborne to be affordable subject to financial viability assessment.
However, in the Supplementary Planning Statement submitted on behalf of the Master Developer of Welborne – Buckland Development Limited – by David Lock Associates, the agreement now includes the provision: “The developer will deliver a minimum of 10% affordable housing across the development of development, with a target of delivering 30% affordable housing across the entire development subject to the outcome of regular viability reviews”.
Image (above): the ‘Master Plan’ for Welborne. Reproduced with permission