The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Director of Place presenting a recommendation to utilise a further tranche of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) monies to facilitate the progression of technical work relating to the Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road over the next 12 months. This would support ongoing work and discussions to identify and secure funding to enable the delivery of the relief road and minimise the overall impact on programme (slippage) to the project.
The Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration outlined the contents of the report stating that the proposed funding would allow the progression of technical work, putting the authority in a more advanced position for when further funding opportunities were available. Officers had been able to agree that this further draw down would not be at risk of clawback from Homes England. He highlighted the time risk as set out in the report associated with the current spend deadline for the HIF funding set at 31 March 2023 and the hope that this would be reviewed nearer the time.
He also updated the meeting with regard to feedback from the previous Levelling Up Fund bid which had been encouraging and he hoped that an improved bid could be produced for further funding rounds.
Discussion took place regarding:
· Concerns with regard to the deadline for spending the HIF funding and the possible need to renegotiate the deadline
· The implications for the cricket and rugby clubs in the town with regard to any delay to the scheme
· Concerns with regard to specific development taking place prior to the establishment of the relief road and the impact on the town
· Whether the Highway Authority would update its advice with regard to the number of dwellings that could be built prior to the relief road being in place
· The money set out in the capital programme for the 2022/23 financial year, whether any decision regarding the utilisation of funding from the PWLB to finish the relief road had been made or costed and whether any further funding opportunities existed
RESOLVED that the drawdown and expenditure of a further tranche of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) funding, totalling £560k be approved, to enable the progression of further feasibility and technical work relating to the Cullompton Town Centre Relief Road.
(Proposed by Cllr R J Chesterton and seconded by Cllr Mrs N Woollatt)
Reason for the decision – there is a need for the scheme to progress with the use of the funding being made available.
Note: *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.