Stubbington Bypass could begin work next year as Whitehall bid is prepared

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  • Bid to Whitehall set to be made next week to secure remaining funds
  • Campaigners ‘very hopeful’ that government will provide funds for work to start in 2017
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WORK on the £34.2m Stubbington bypass could start as early as next year.

WORK on the £34.2m Stubbington bypass could start as early as next year.

We are now pushing forward on the plans and remain very hopeful that we will get the funding for this project.

Councillor Sean Woodward

The project was given a major boost on Tuesday when Hampshire County Council said they would provide a £8.5m cash injection for the proposal.

And now Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s bid to secure the remaining £25.7m needed from government is going in a month ahead of schedule.

Those behind the bypass idea are optimistic that the bid will be accepted and that work could be started on the project next year.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, who also sits on the Solent LEP board, said: ‘We are now pushing forward on the plans and remain very hopeful that we will get the funding for this project.

‘It will be a transformative project for Gosport, Fareham and Stubbington and create around £192m of private sector investment into the area.

‘It is critically important that this road is built.’

The county council’s funding makes up a quarter of all the funding needed for the scheme and was seen as the major breakthrough for the development, which last week faced a six-week deadline to guarantee the funds.

Tuesday’s deal followed negotiations between the council and the Solent LEP in which it was agreed that the council would borrow its £8.5m share and make the money back through business rates from the Solent Enterprise Zone.

Stubbington Ukip ward councillor Chris Wood added: ‘After all the years campaigning, it is fantastic to finally to get to this point.

‘I’ve had the bypass down as my priority since I first became a councillor.

‘It is a piece of absolutely essential infrastructure and I don’t think we’ll have any problems getting the rest of the funding.’

He added that campaigners for the project are quietly confident that the plans will get the funding after being made a priority by the Solent LEP this year.

An announcement on the Solent LEP’s bid could be made in new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.

Suella Fernandes, MP for Fareham said: ‘It’s great news that we’ve got the funding confirmed for this work, which is long overdue.

‘I’ve been actively supporting the campaign for the bypass, and will now be doing all I can to help the LEP with their efforts to lobby ministers for the remaining funding we need.’

The route is also expected to generate around 140,000qm of employment space.

It will cover 2.3 miles from Titchfield Road to Gosport Road with the road given planning permission by the county council last year.

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for transport at the county council added: ‘I’m confident this is the last piece in the jigsaw needed to implement the transport improvements the council has identified in this area. I have no doubt building this bypass is the right thing to do for local people.’