£100m sought for housing scheme

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A COLOSSAL £100 million funding package to improve Stratford’s transport and infrastructure is being demanded from the developers of Long Marston Airfield by the district council.

The figure comes from a supplementary planning document produced by the council, which sets out a wishlist of projects the developer would have to pay for in order for the housing scheme to be considered viable.

The estimated costs of delivering these improvements comes in at around £63million, though it does not include the potential cost of the proposed south western relief road, which is expected to be around £40million, should it be granted planning permission.

The funding figure is not set in stone and could be reduced during later discussions with the developer if the estimated costs of these projects come down, but it is likely that they will have to stump up at least the majority of the cash.

The final figure could even rise higher though as a number of the projects the council wants the developer to fund are yet to be costed.

The council’s demands make interesting reading with projects right across the town set to benefit, with vast sums of money potentially being paid.

Cllr Peter Richards, housing and infrastructure portfolio at Stratford District Council, said: “With all planning applications, particularly major applications such as the Long Marston Garden Village, the District Council seeks appropriate contributions from developers to help provide required infrastructure in the district. This is a significant development and could bring with it significant improvements for Stratford.”

The list includes an A3400 Birmingham Road widening and ‘study’ scheme, estimated to cost more than £2million and improvements to the Tiddington Road/Shipston Road gyratory and Bridgeway/Bridgefoot gyratory, estimated at almost £1.9million.

Improvements to the Bishopton roundabout, predicted to cost £1.25million, work at the two roundabouts near Waitrose, potentially costing £1.1million and improvements to the Wildmoor roundabout, £1.25million, are also on the list.

Traffic light improvements in the area of Rother Street and Greenhill Street, and a dynamic signage scheme on Warwick Road, estimated to cost a combined £2.5million, are among the other improvements included.

Closer to the airfield site itself, £1million is earmarked for works on the Campden Road (particularly at the Freshfield Nursery and Garden Centre junctions), while the council want the developer to contribute £2.8miillion towards a bus service to the site and £1.2million towards walking and cycling enhancements.

Aside from the estimated cost of the SWRR, the other single largest contribution will be towards a new secondary school at the development, with the developer asked to stump up around £20million.

The council also wants the developer to pay £10million towards two new primary schools at the site and £2.4million to the Meon Vale GP surgery.

There are many other projects on the list adding up to a hefty bill for the developer.

If the council gets its way developer contributions from Cala are likely to pay for the majority of these projects, although some of the money may come from other sources, such as other developers building in the area.

A spokesperson for Cala Homes would not comment on the amount of money the development would potentially bring to Stratford, but said: “The full cost and funding arrangements have yet be determined for the South Western Relief Road, so we are unable to confirm the exact amount CALA will contribute at this stage.

“With regards to other infrastructure and community benefits outlined in the Stratford supplementary planning documents, CALA are committed to providing or funding a comprehensive infrastructure package.”

John Deegan, chairman of Stratford’s Town Transport Group, said: “For a development of this size I wouldn’t have though a figure of £100million is excessive. The granting of planning permission on that land will sharply increase its value and it’s right that the council is asking for a large developer contribution to the area.

“I don’t think that there is any doubt that a development of that size will require significant investment in local transport infrastructure, and it’s right that the developer should be asked to pay for a significant proportion of that.”