Dover District Council has been awarded £15.8m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the development of a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) between Whitfield, Dover Town Centre and Dover Priory railway station. The new infrastructure helps unlock the potential of two major housing sites at Whitfield and the former Connaught Barracks. The funding for Dover was the highest award in the country.
Together the Whitfield Urban Expansion and Connaught Barracks have the potential to deliver 6,250 new homes. Work is already underway on the first units of the Whitfield Urban Expansion, and Homes England is due to consider its preferred bidder on the first phase of development at Connaught Barracks soon.
The development of the Bus Rapid Transit System is designed to take traffic off key local roads and to connect with the growing business community on the White Cliffs Business Park which is seeing major investment, including the new £26m Dover District Leisure Centre.
The key elements of infrastructure needed for the BRT includes:
- A bridge over the A2 for bus, pedestrian and cycle access
- Dedicated bus link through White Cliffs Business Park (to Dover Road)
- Widening of Dover Road and a new junction onto Castle Hill Road
- Junction Improvements at Castle Hill Road
- Potential future development of a Public Transport Hub in York Street, Dover
Cllr Keith Morris, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “This is fantastic news and will help us realise our ambition to connect Whitfield to Dover town centre, and high speed services from Dover Priory railway station.
“This investment from central government gives confidence to developers to accelerate house building at Whitfield and Connaught Barracks to deliver the new family homes that are key to Dover’s economy.
“We’ll be working with Kent County Council and Homes England, along with developers and land owners to finalise the programme of works which are planned for completion by 2021.”
Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, Cllr Mike Whiting said: “I am delighted that the merits of the Bus Rapid Transit scheme in Dover have been recognised by government with the award of £15.8 million in funding.
“Providing the infrastructure will significantly help achieve a sustainable community in Dover by providing access to reliable journeys.
“The funding will also greatly assist in kick-starting housing within the district and manage the subsequent traffic impact on the highway network.
“The success of this bid is another excellent example of collaborative working between the district and county council and we look forward to working with Dover District Council in progressing this scheme.”
Thirteen projects across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) area are to receive a share of more than £82m of the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to help deliver 13,443 new homes across Kent, Essex, East Sussex, Thurrock and Southend.
Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “Each of the 13 schemes, championed by the respective council's and endorsed by SELEP, will make an important contribution to the delivery of new homes.
“Having secured nearly £1 in every £10 of the £866m earmarked nationally to support local housing projects, it clearly shows the Government recognises the role our area can play in helping to fix the broken housing market.”
Note to editors
The £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme to help unlock new homes in areas with the greatest housing demand. Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis.
Posted on 02 February 2018