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£159m earmarked for a new access road near Truro

£159m earmarked for a new access road near Truro

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:39pm 11th December 2018. (Updated at 6:38am 12th December 2018)

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall Council is planning to use £159 million to help build an access road for a planned new town and other works towards the major project.

Reports going to next week’s Cabinet meeting detail the next stages in the council’s intervention in getting proposed new developments underway on land at Langarth, near Threemilestone.

The council has already agreed to buy plots of land for 154 homes but is now moving forward with other parts of the development.

Planning permission is already in place for 2,700 homes and various associated developments on land in the area but none of the separate developments have got underway.

Earlier this year the council announced that it was intervening to try to kick start the developments which are a key part of its housing targets included in the local plan which runs to 2030.

The council is aiming to bring together all the developments and use them to create a “new town” which could have about 8,000 people living there – similar in size to Liskeard, Launceston or St Ives.

By taking the lead the council hopes to create a more “coherent” form of development and wants to ensure that the whole series of developments is of a standard design and quality.

It also hopes it can ensure that infrastructure needed for the new homes would be in place before people start moving in rather than waiting for developers to deliver new facilities.

The land around Langarth also surrounds the site of the planned Stadium for Cornwall.

Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting will see councillors asked to approve the purchase of 10 more housing plots at Langarth and that money from the council’s economic development match fund reserve is used for masterplaning, design and management of the wider scheme.

The council is also looking to draw up a business case for the development of a two-form entry primary school, public infrastructure and social amenities at Threemilestone, an extension to the park-and-ride and further expenditure on land acquisition.

Finally the Cabinet will be asked to approve the extension of its capital programme by £159m for the works including the design and early delivery of the Northern Access Road (NAR).

Around £51m would be used to fund the plots of land for housing and the money needed for the new road.

It is hoped that the money for the NAR could be covered by a grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund, a £5billion Government fund which provides money for infrastructure which will unlock housing development.

A decision on the funding is hoped to be made in the spring of 2019.

The NAR is planned to run through the various developments and provide access to them. It would start from the development sites at Langarth and cross over to Treliske.

It was originally proposed that the NAR would be funded by the developers building across the area but it is now being proposed that Cornwall Council takes the lead.

The report states: “As part of this approach, approval sought includes an increase to the capital programme by an amount up to the projected grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for the Northern Access Road. This will allow the grant to be used to rapidly make progress in the design and construction of the NAR, which is a critical piece of infrastructure in opening up the development site. In the event that the sum requested from HIF is not granted in full a further report will be submitted to Cabinet seeking approval for an alternative course of action, to be developed in light of the circumstances at the time.”

A planning application for the council’s first housing plans on the site has also been submitted and a planning application around the foul drainage and sewage for the Langarth development sites is set to go before the council’s strategic planning committee on Thursday.

As well as the main report the Cabinet will also consider a confidential report which will provide more detail about the financial details of the proposals.

The main report states: “The cost of the full Threemilestone programme, in conjunction with the other existing and proposed capital activity of the council, will have a significant impact on the capital programme and borrowing levels. At this stage the risk is limited to the additional borrowing required for Langarth Farm. The assessment of land valuations supports the purchase price and should the need arise the land could be sold to recover borrowing costs.”

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