The government has today announced that Kent County Council has been successful in the first stage of its application for Forward Funding from a national £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund.
The money will support the delivery of major transport infrastructure enabling the construction of thousands of planned new homes in Swale.
This follows the submission of an expression of interest by the county council in September 2017.
The Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, said: “Our pioneering Growth and Infrastructure Framework demonstrates the enormity of the growth and infrastructure challenges facing the county over the coming decades.
“Government support will be absolutely vital if we are to ensure that planned new homes are supported by the necessary infrastructure to create thriving communities.
“We therefore welcome today’s announcement and look forward to working closely with The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Swale Borough Council in the next stage of the process.
Leader of Swale Borough Council Cllr Andrew Bowles said: “This is great news, and I am glad to see our work with KCC is taking us a step closer to achieving our shared aim of improving our local transport infrastructure, and moves us closer to complying with last July’s council motion.
“Residents and businesses can look forward to us hopefully receiving the increased investment we need to upgrade the Groveshurst and Key Street junctions of the A249, and push ahead with the design and feasibility work for the northern relief road, and potentially the southern relief road.”
The government has now offered Kent County Council its support ahead of the preparation and submission of a business case that will inform a final decision on the award of funding, anticipated later this year.
The Housing Infrastructure Fund was an extremely competitive process and received almost £14 billion worth of bids from areas across the country.
Kent County Council’s application for Forward Funding to support the delivery of necessary infrastructure at Otterpool Park, Shepway, will not be taken forward.
Mr Carter added: “We are of course disappointed that our exceptional Forward Funding bid for Otterpool Park will not be taken forward, and are already in dialogue with the Ministry of Housing to understand the rationale behind this decision.
“Nevertheless, the county council will continue to work collaboratively with Shepway District Council and Homes England to deliver an exemplar new settlement, with the district council set to consider the proposed master plan at a cabinet meeting later this month.”