The Government has announced that Leicester City Council is to receive £10m of funding for highway infrastructure to unlock further development at the city council’s Ashton Green housing site. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid met with Leicester’s City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby at Ashton Green where they made the announcement.
Leicester City Council says that: “Ashton Green offers a fantastic development opportunity for developers and investors to participate in the delivery of a comprehensively planned, high quality, sustainable urban extension to Leicester. The site offers 130 hectares of greenfield land for up 3,000 new homes, with 10 ha of employment land, a commercial village centre and 50 ha of green space. Opportunities for investment in education, health, community facilities and a commercial village centre will follow later in the development process. We will retain influence and direction over the future development as land owner, and local planning authority to ensure the long-term delivery of the Ashton Green vision of a sustainable new community. With an outline planning permission, infrastructure delivery plan and phasing strategy already in place, we are now bringing the site forward for development.”
Leicester is one of 133 council-led projects across the country to successfully bid for a share of the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund, which aims to get new homes built more quickly. Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis. This is the first wave of funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, and will fund key local infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work, all essential ahead of building the homes.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said: “This fund finances vital infrastructure such as roads, schools and bridges, which will kick-start housing development in some of Britain’s highest-demand areas.”
Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “I am delighted that our bid for £10m has been successful. This funding will unlock 60 acres of development land and the building of more than 3,000 new homes and is excellent news for Leicester. Off the back of this funding we will see developers of the next parcels of land invest an additional £150m over the next five years. Ashton Green will make a significant contribution to the 30,000 new homes needed in the city over the next ten to 15 years and will contribute greatly to the economic growth of the city.”
Leicester City Council is the principal landowner and promoter of the Ashton Green development, which is a mixed use urban extension on a 320 acre greenfield site to the north of Leicester. The council has already invested more than £2m in the initial infrastructure to kick-start the Ashton Green development, with the first occupants of more than 100 new homes due to move in over the coming weeks. Up to 30% of the new homes to be built at Ashton Green will be affordable homes for rent and for shared ownership.
Ashton Green will make a significant contribution towards delivering quality new homes in Leicester, and raising its profile as the place to do business in the East Midlands. In addition to much-needed new homes, this development will bring employment land opportunities with new jobs, economic, regeneration and social benefits for the wider community, says Leicester City Council.
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