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Government backs Essex housing and infrastructure

21 March 2018

Three major transport projects could be backed to the tune of £415 million after being shortlisted in the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF). 

Essex County Council bid for money to help pay for a range of road and transport infrastructure improvements that will unlock key sites for housing and employment growth, including two of the proposed North Essex Garden Communities.

The three shortlisted bids, which were supported by district and borough councils, MPs, SELEP and the University of Essex, include:


  • £250 million for Beaulieu and Chelmsford North East bypass, which includes plans for a new railway station and an initial phase of the long awaited bypass
  • £65 million to build a new road linking the A120 and A133 and undertake preparatory work for a Rapid Transit system linking the university, garden community and central Colchester
  • £100 million to ensure the proposed A12 improvements can accommodate and allow access to the proposed Garden Communities settlement at Marks Tey, subject to further public consultation

The milestone funding announcement was made today by Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab MP, as part of the Government’s £5 billion Housing and Infrastructure fund, which offers funding to local councils on a competitive basis to support new infrastructure to enable housing growth.

Hertfordshire County Council was also shortlisted with a £175m bid to support the Harlow Gilston Garden Town development, in collaboration with Essex County Council.

It means there are four Essex projects of the 44 shortlisted nationwide.

David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “Housing is one of the biggest issues the nation faces and how we provide homes for the next generation is a challenge that we cannot avoid. However, simply building new housing estates is not the answer.

“We must build the right homes, in the right locations, with the right infrastructure, if we are to create real communities and inspire economic growth. Essex is leading the way on housing and today’s announcement is testament to that.”

Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Economic Growth, added: “For our bids to be backed at the highest level of Government is proof that the Council and its partners have the right vision for sustainable growth.

“We are confident we can produce compelling business cases to ensure Essex stands out at the next round of this competitive funding process.”