Following significant progress in the delivery of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF): New Routes to Good Growth Programme, we've agreed a year’s extension to the programme with Homes England.
The discussions between Homes England and ourselves follows the detailed work undertaken by the Future Hoo team, including detailed design studies and the recent extensive consultation work with local residents.
The extension to the £170million Future Hoo HIF programme has been agreed with the full support of Homes England, as it will ensure residents and stakeholders can be fully involved in the ongoing delivery of the HIF project.
Ensuring the most sustainable future for Hoo
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “The Cabinet has agreed the extension and the additional time will be spent ensuring the HIF programme delivers the most sustainable future for Hoo. It will enable the team to build on the excellent progress on the environment, rail and road elements of the HIF.
“Medway’s HIF is one of the largest in the country and a huge amount of work has taken place since the agreement was signed last summer. Despite the added challenge of Covid, we have developed detailed proposals, worked with a wide range of partners, and undertaken a major first round of consultation with the community. Given the HIF project’s importance to the whole of Medway it is totally appropriate we have sufficient time to get this scheme right.
“Thanks to the quality of the project team we will be able to demonstrate in detail to the 24,500 households on the peninsula that their views have been listened to, and that the HIF supports the heritage, culture and communities in this important part of Medway.”
Thanks to the formation of a highly-skilled and committed Future Hoo delivery team, key achievements on the proposed improvements to the environment, the rail and road infrastructure programme, include:
- The development of the Strategic Environmental Management Strategy
- Planning permission granted to create Cockham Community Parkland, a new community park covering 127.75 acres (51.7ha) of land to the south of Hoo St Werburgh and the east of Chattenden
- The consultation, final drafting and completion of the Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment, which is now informing the EIA and the SEMS work streams
- The commissioning of the study to deliver Governance for Railway Investment Projects for rail infrastructure
- The completion of preliminary designs for the highway infrastructure
- Ongoing discussions with affected key freeholders and leaseholders
- Extensive public consultation including further engagement in November
The HIF will ensure the all-important infrastructure is in place by 2025 and enable the potential development of up to 10,600 new homes on the peninsula by 2037. The housing is part of the government’s requirement for us to deliver 26,962 new homes across all of Medway, which is being considered as part of the Local Plan process.
The decision on the extension was taken by our Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday, 28 September, and it means the HIF project is now scheduled to run until March 2025.
We will undertake further public consultation with the residents of Hoo on the HIF proposals for its investment in the area’s environment, rail and road infrastructure during November.