AN EXTRA £5m has been added to the cost of a Stubbington bypass, it has been revealed.
Hampshire County Council’s executive member for transport Sean Woodward said that the road was now expected to cost £35m, instead of the originally projected £30m.
This means that the total cost of the package of works designed to improve access to the Gosport peninsula has increased to £95m.
Cllr Woodward said that the increase in cost was due to ‘enhanced mitigation works’, rising costs in the construction industry and an extension to the originally-proposed works to include several junctions.
He said: ‘Until we start building, it is just a ball-park figure.
‘It’s a bit unknown but we do know for a fact that construction costs are rising exponentially every month so the cost of the bypass will rise by the time we build it.’
He said that environmental studies carried out over two years have added to the costs as they have highlighted the need for greater mitigation measures, such as hedgerow planting.
Money has been granted from central government to cover the initial planning permission stages but the council will need to apply for the rest of the money once full permission has been granted.
Councillor Chris Wood, who represents Crofton, said: ‘The bypass is absolutely essential and the increase in cost is down to a more far-reaching project which links Peel Common all the way to the Titchfield gyratory.
‘We will now need to bid for £35m from central government instead of £30m, but the road is needed to beat congestion.’
There will be a six-week public consultation on the bypass plan, which is expected to start later this week once the application has been officially registered by the council.
Cllr Woodward wanted to reassure residents that all comments would be taken into account until the decision, which will take place at a meeting of the regulatory board at Hampshire County Council.
The earliest date this could happen is September 29.
Residents can comment on the plans at a Community Action Team meeting on Thursday, September 3 at 7pm at Holy Rood Church in Stubbington.
An exhibition of the plans, plus the council’s vision for nearby Daedalus, will be on show throughout the day.