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Date issued: 19 August 2019
A £100m funding announcement by the Government for North Essex has been welcomed by the councils behind the bid.
Essex County Council, supported by Colchester, Tendring and Braintree councils, applied to the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for cash to support a new road linking the A133 in east Colchester to the A120.
The road is an integral part of plans by the four councils for a new garden community to the east of Colchester – providing both private and public transport links from it to Colchester, the A120/A12 and further afield to Stansted Airport – and would also help to alleviate local traffic too.
On Saturday (August 17) Chancellor Sajid Javid confirmed £99.9m funding for the project, to create a single carriageway link road and support delivery of up to 7,500 homes.
Some of the funding will also support development of the first stage of a Rapid Transport System linking the new Colchester/Tendring borders development and Essex University with Colchester Town Centre and the Colchester North rail station.
Elsewhere in Essex another Essex County Council funding bid of £218m for Beaulieu Station and North-East Bypass in north Chelmsford was also approved by the Chancellor.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “We are delighted the Government has recognised the value of these projects and confirmed we will have much needed investment to support vital infrastructure and unlock housing growth.
“The announcement is truly reflective of just how key road, rail and public transport networks are for Essex’s growth, helping create the conditions for our economy and communities to grow in a sustainable way. We are pleased that Government has recognised this with over half of the £600m HIF money being directed to Essex.
“I would like to thank all those involved in preparing the bids across Essex. This investment today is an excellent demonstration of value for money for the £2m we invested to develop these bids."
Cllr Neil Stock, Leader of Tendring District Council, said: “From meetings and conversations I have been involved in with senior government figures it was clear to me the unique and fantastic partnership working here in North Essex between Colchester, Tendring and Braintree councils as well as Essex County Council has really impressed Whitehall and is seen as the best example of its kind anywhere in the country.
“The Government is as determined as we are to see the success of Garden Communities, where infrastructure is delivered before housing as we have always said is the whole point of the project, as this announcement establishes.
“This massive funding announcement represents an incredible success and a major boost for the whole region, but of course most directly for us here in North Essex.”
Cllr Julie Young, Deputy Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We very much welcome this announcement, which is a huge step towards delivering the appropriate transport infrastructure to support sustainable housing growth in north Essex and will ensure the homes and the infrastructure are developed to the Garden Community principles that we have all committed to.
“I am particularly pleased that some of the funding will help current residents get direct access to the A120, A12 and beyond, while also providing a sustainable option for travel from the east into Colchester.”
Cllr Graham Butland, Leader of Braintree District Council, said: “We’ve always said that funding for infrastructure is key to our plans. This support from Central Government shows the faith they have in our approach to creating homes in North Essex.”
A consultation by Colchester, Braintree and Tendring councils into the revised evidence for their shared draft Local Plan – which includes the link road plans and proposed garden community – begins today and runs until September 30. To submit your views, visit www.braintree.gov.uk/NEAtechS1