M27 junction 10 expansion for Welborne Garden Village could get even more expensive

WORK on a motorway junction to create a gateway to a 6,000-home development will be the largest project a council has ever undertaken.

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 3:30 pm

Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council agreed to lead an expansion at junction 10 of the M27, as part of the Welborne Garden Village development.

The search is on for a contractor and the council plans to commence work in 2023, but the question of cost remains a focal point.

Deputy leader of Hampshire County Council and executive lead member for economy, transport and environment, Cllr Rob Humby, said: 'I am really pleased that we are getting this project off the ground.

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The M27 will see expanded access at Junction 10 to accommodate the Welborne Garden Village.

'This is crucial to bringing forward the Welborne Garden Village development, something we've always supported.

'A lot of the background work has already taken place - this is the biggest scheme that Hampshire County Council has ever delivered and like any other project it will have its challenges, but I am hugely confident in our staff and officers to get this right.

'The contractor has to be somebody with experience in schemes like this, because it's unlike anything we've undertaken before.'

Subject to Homes England committing funding, an agreement is in place with the county council, and Cllr Humby says there is a 'memorandum of understanding' with National Highways.

This means the highways agency will inform the county council of any works that could impede or impact the junction's construction.

Currently, the project is estimated to cost the county council £81m - but the council is all too aware of the inflationary pressures on the construction industry.

A cabinet report showed an annual inflation rate of 17 per cent for highways.

Cllr Humby said: 'The scheme cost is coming in at around £81m at the moment, but that is obviously subject to change.

'As with any major scheme, this is constantly under review. With the global problems around the supply of materials and the costs going through the roof, we'll be keeping a very close eye on it all.

'The bottom line is that we don't know exactly what's going to happen to the cost, but will monitor it as things progress.'

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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