North Devon Council on Tuesday requested funding assistance from the government to service its new 5000 housing project. The new village is expected to strengthen Barnstaple as a regional centre. According to Council Leader Des Brailey, North Devon Council would not have received consideration if it had failed to bid for the project to be included in the Homes England Garden Communities programme.
“The detail will follow later and the councillors will debate that and decide if they are happy with it and what Homes England will require.” Brailey said in a statement.
“What we must emphasise is that several of the houses that go to make up this number are already in the planning, so it’s not 5,000 extra houses, we are going to wrap it all up together,” he added.
The bid will first seek funding to develop a business case that includes detailed site proposals and the kind of infrastructure needed.
“Infrastructure is the major stumbling block–we can’t just go into it without working out how we are going to deal with roads and all the other things that go to make up the infrastructure,” Mr Brailey said.
Barnstaple Mayor, Ian Roome, hailed the Council for the bid, describing it as a ‘a no-brainer’. According to him, this is an “…opportunity for North Devon to draw down much-needed funding from central government to help us improve the infrastructure around Barnstaple.
“Not only would the money help improve the infrastructure, it would also create opportunities for employment and keeping the younger generation here.
“We would need to work in collaboration with local councils although this would want us to have more homes in future years, we must direct funding to increase the capacity of our road network, as well as GP surgeries, schools and other essential services the population will need.”