Crucial motorway works tied to Welborne balloon in cost to Â£60m
MOTORWAY works crucial to securing the future of a 6,000-home development have ballooned in cost to Â£60m.
Proposals to transform Junction 10 of the M27 to open it up to both eastbound and westbound traffic are set to cost £20m more than first thought.
The works are linked to the development of the long-awaited town of Welborne, to be built to the north of Fareham, with town planners determining that the junction works must be complete or at least under way before building of the town starts.
Originally estimated to cost at around £40m, the price has recently shot up and the project could also be delayed unless it is synced up with Highways England’s £244m smart motorways project to boost the route to four lanes between Junction 4 and 11.
The smart motorway works will begin from next March.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said: ‘The increase in cost is not really surprising as the £40m figure was counted quite some time ago so it was always likely it would change.
‘What’s important now is we make sure that the smart motorway works do not jeopardise Junction 10 and that they are brought forward together.
‘We are in discussions with Highways England in order to make sure that the works either start at the same time or are designed in conjunction so that no delays affect the building of Welborne.’
A total of £30m is already secured for the works at Junction 10 from the Department for Transport and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership with both the borough council and Hampshire County Council pursuing options to boost funding for the works.
Both have applied to the government to obtain funding from its Housing Infrastructure Fund.
The county’s cabinet deciding to jointly rank Welborne and Manydown – a proposed town of up to 10,000 homes near Basingstoke – in a submission to government for funding on Friday.
Ahead of the meeting, the council had been looking to prioritise Manydown but Gosport county councillor Graham Burgess urged the cabinet to reconsider with a speech at the meeting.
He said: ‘Welborne should be seen as a priority. It has been on the cards for a while and it needs to go ahead.’
It was suggested that due to the delays with getting Welborne off the ground, Manydown should be seen as the priority as it is all under public ownership, though no planning applications have been submitted.
The county council can bid for as much as £250m while the borough council’s bids are capped at £10m.
Cllr Woodward added that should the borough council be successful in its funding, the £10m would be put forward for the works at Junction 10.
Outline plans have been submitted for Welborne with a decision due to be made later this year.