Oxfordshire County Council signs agreement for £218m with Homes England
Oxfordshire residents will benefit from a funding deal with Homes England for £218m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) dedicated to providing access to the Didcot Garden Town area with the formal signing of the agreement announced in June.
The development is great news for the people of Oxfordshire, allowing the council to improve sustainable travel for residents, communities and business whilst supporting thousands of new homes and jobs.
This sum of £218m (towards infrastructure costs of £234m) will deliver:
- Widening the A4130 from A34 Milton Interchange towards Didcot from single to dual carriageway;
- A new Science Bridge over the A4130, Great Western Railway Line and Milton Road into the former Didcot A Power Station site;
- A new Didcot to Culham bridge between the A4130 and A415; and
- A Clifton Hampden bypass
The new infrastructure not only provides opportunities for sustainable travel along the new routes but enables traffic demand management measures to be implemented elsewhere to prioritise non-motorised traffic, where appropriate. Active travel by walking and cycling has been carefully planned into the schemes and each provides new opportunities to connect areas of employment and housing for those on foot and bike using existing public rights of way.
The funds will enable direct and sustainable access between new and present homes and key employment sites in and around Didcot. The HIF schemes have been identified as essential in Local Plan development to deliver sustainable growth across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts and Oxfordshire County Council has been working in partnership with the two district councils to help enable this necessary infrastructure.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said:
“The signing of this funding agreement for more than £200m is great news for the sustainable growth ambitions of Oxfordshire. It demonstrates that Government is listening and the recognition that infrastructure is required in parallel to the delivery of new homes. The infrastructure will also be vital to sustainable economic growth and support job creation in an area important to the local and national economy whilst helping to support the objectives of Didcot Garden Town; It’s a significant win for the people of Oxfordshire.”
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said:
“We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure.
Our multimillion-pound funding will resolve much needed improvements to the local road network around the Didcot Garden Town area, whilst unlocking critical housing sites and allowing the County Council to deliver their vision for new homes."
The Housing Infrastructure Fund is helping to deliver up to 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand. It is administered by the government’s housing agency, Homes England, which works in partnership with ambitious local authorities to help them meet their local housing needs.