Fate of Stubbington Bypass in the balance due to council funding
Plans for the relief road have been touted for more than 40 years but unless the authority can guarantee the funds for the project in a bid to Whitehall in the next six weeks, it is likely to fail.
The News previously revealed that Fareham Borough Council executive leader Sean Woodward had ‘tentatively’ secured the £10m but the council is yet to guarantee the funds, despite the agreement.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘This has been my personal project for many years and I did secure the funds in a tentative agreement.
‘We are in discussions with the county council about the money being provided as a loan, which we will then pay them back using the business rates secured from Daedalus over the next 10 years.
‘I can see no reason why we won’t be able to get the funding, as all parties regard it as a priority.
‘I cannot think for a moment that our bid wouldn’t be accepted, given the economic benefits and job growth that it would bring.’
If the council submits the bid, which is due in by the end of August, it will hear in the autumn if it has secured the remaining funds from Whitehall.
Work could then start on the project next summer and last for about two years. The road would link Titchfield Road to Gosport Road.
Chris Wood, Ukip borough councillor for Stubbington added: ‘This is the only chance we will get to build this project. If we do not get the funds now, then we will never get it. It’s now or never.’
The project is considered a ‘priority’ by both the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the county council.
Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport added: ‘This may be the best chance we ever have to get this vital road built.
‘I stand ready to support the project in Westminster. However, the future of the project now lies firmly in Hampshire County Council’s hands.
‘The government quite simply won’t give us the other 70 per cent unless they show them how serious they are by putting our own money in.’