Work on a programme of £170million road, rail and environmental projects is set to get underway this summer – unlocking potential on the Hoo Peninsula.
Medway Council secured the funding after bidding for a share of the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), which was put in place to help deliver thousands of new homes across England to meet demand.
In November 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced that Medway Council had been successful in its bid for major infrastructure developments on the Hoo Peninsula.
Medway Council and Homes England have now signed the Grant Determination Agreement (GDA), setting out the plans for the multi-million pound infrastructure programme.
Medway Council’s vision is to significantly improve road and rail connections in and around the peninsula, in addition to creating accessible open space. The unitary authority has demonstrated its commitment to Medway’s residents to ensure that the necessary transport and environmental infrastructure is deliverable before finalising plans for thousands of potential new homes on the Hoo Peninsula.
Alongside planned consultations and surveys, the initial site preparation and environmental works are due to start in 2021, and this will be followed by work on the road improvements and rail connectivity in 2022.
Road, rail and environmental improvement projects
Medway Council and rail partners will work together to use £63million of the HIF funding for upgrades to rail infrastructure, including a new passenger service and station to improve connections for the Hoo Peninsula to neighbouring boroughs and London Charing Cross. In addition, £86million will be used to make vital improvements to Medway’s roads, including the A228 and A289, as well as a new relief road to help ease local congestion both on and off the Hoo Peninsula.
Medway already has the equivalent of 13.3 Hyde Parks under the council’s direct management, giving residents a great choice of green spaces to enjoy, and as part of its commitment to the environment Medway Council has set aside £14million of the funding to provide a new community parkland area on the Hoo Peninsula to benefit local wildlife and residents.
It is anticipated the infrastructure works will be finished and in use by March 2024.
Medway’s plans, which have been supported by Homes England, will help deliver sustainable growth.
'Providing residents with sustainable growth'
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “I am delighted that everything is in place to start working on our plans to unlock the potential on the Hoo Peninsula. We recognise the importance of providing Medway residents with sustainable growth, and the Housing Infrastructure Fund is giving us the opportunity to significantly improve transport links in and around the peninsula before potential new homes are developed. In addition to improving the road and rail connections, we have also set aside funding to create a new parkland area for residents to enjoy.
“Medway is on an exciting regeneration journey and is already reaping the rewards from improvement projects across the towns. The variety of developments and projects already underway will continue to provide Medway’s residents with improved transport links, a greater choice of facilities and new affordable and luxury homes. We are committed to paving the way to a sustainable future and a healthy economy for future generations to thrive in Medway.”
Homes England: Helping to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand
The Housing Infrastructure Fund is administered and monitored by the government’s housing agency, Homes England. The programme is helping to deliver up to 300,000 new homes across England by providing local authorities with grant funding for new infrastructure, to unlock homes in areas of greatest housing demand.
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure Our multimillion-pound funding will resolve much needed transport and environmental improvements to the Hoo Peninsula, unlocking critical housing sites and allowing the council to deliver their vision for new homes."