A bid to the Government by Buckinghamshire County Council for £204 million to support growth in and around Aylesbury has passed its first hurdle.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. has announced that bids from a further 44 areas (West Midlands being announced earlier in the spring statement), including Buckinghamshire, will go forward for a potential share of the £4.1b national Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). They will now ask all successful areas to put together detailed business plans for further consideration.
Officers will now be working in collaboration with Homes England, the Local Enterprise Partnerships in Buckinghamshire Thames Valley and South East Midlands, and Aylesbury Vale District Council to take this work forward.
The County Council bid for funding, to support Aylesbury’s growth as a Garden Town, covers infrastructure projects such as link roads to form an orbital route around Aylesbury, improvements to public transport links to the town centre, and new secondary and primary schools.
Funding would also pay for new recycling centres, new power lines, broadband improvements, flood alleviation and open spaces for leisure and recreation.
County Council Leader Martin Tett welcomed the news that the bid was going through to the next stage. “This is very good news for Buckinghamshire. It is critical that any new housing growth is accompanied by the essential infrastructure, such as roads, broadband, health facilities and open spaces.
“While we still have some way to go, I believe that we have a strong case to make to Government and Buckinghamshire County Council is determined to continue to fight to obtain the essential funding we really need.”
Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This Government is committed to working with communities to build the homes this country needs and ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support them.
“We will now be working closely with the 45 areas shortlisted to apply for government investment including Buckinghamshire. These key projects will help unlock more much needed homes by delivering the roads, schools and doctor’s surgeries that communities need.”
The County Council’s application to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for Garden Town infrastructure funding was developed with help from Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Neil Blake, Leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council and Chairman of Aylesbury Garden Town Delivery Board, said: “This is very encouraging news for Aylesbury, as we move towards achieving our ambition to deliver key growth in the area, with the proper infrastructure in place to support it. The Garden Town vision to create a thriving, revitalised town with quality homes, facilities and transport links, will help secure Aylesbury’s future for the long term and we’re delighted that progress continues to be made in securing the essential funding to ensure this can happen.”
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are delighted that the Aylesbury Garden Town submission has been shortlisted for the £4.1bn Housing Infrastructure Funding. The bid is being developed through a strong partnership and the funding would show a firm commitment from Government to support the significant potential of this area.”