Havant MP makes case in Whitehall for cash to improve roads as borough prepares for surge in housing development

HAVANT MP Alan Mak has stepped up the pressure on Whitehall to ensure it provides cash to build roads to ensure the borough can cope with an expected rise in housing development.

Thursday, 1st December 2016, 6:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 4:37 pm

He met local government secretary Sajid Javid to address queries raised by residents over the borough’s Local Plan that the traffic network may need an upgrade over the next 20 years.

And more local services will be needed to accommodate a surge in resident numbers.

The Local Plan sets out plans for new housing in the borough between now and 2036. Mr Javid responded by saying MPs had made ‘strong representations’ on ‘housing-related infrastructure’ – and that he was aware of Havant’s needs.

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The cabinet minister said the Autumn Statement saw the government announce new funds which local councils such as Havant and Hampshire can bid for.

These include a new £2bn fund to support new housing infrastructure, £23bn for a new National Productivity Infrastructure Fund, some of which will go towards housing, and as part of that fund, £1.1bn is set aside to deliver upgrades on local roads and the public transport network.

Mr Mak said he was committed to supporting local councils and other bodies like Solent LEP if they apply for national funds where local resources for infrastructure are not sufficient.

He said: ‘Havant Borough Council is drafting its Local Plan, and once it’s finalised and adopted, I will support them to lobby for infrastructure funding, especially when local funding is insufficient.

‘While the council progress the Local Plan process, I’m working hard in parallel, ensuring that local needs are known in Westminster, including lobbying ministers and even cabinet ministers.

‘I’m ready to back the council’s funding bids when they come forward.’

Mr Mak added: ‘Developers themselves have to provide funds for infrastructure when they build and profit from new homes in our areas so developer contributions are still important.’

Havant Borough Council’s Local Plan will go before the full council on December 7, after it was recommended for approval by the cabinet on November 16.