The Oxfordshire Growth Board has welcomed the Government’s confirmation that two of the county’s bids to the Housing and Infrastructure Fund (HIF) are progressing through to co-development.
Detailed business plans will now be developed for the £300 million of transport infrastructure investment that will help bring forward the Didcot Garden Town and West Oxfordshire Garden Village, near Eynsham.
If agreed, the investment would substantially improve the county’s transport infrastructure, including a new river crossing at Culham and an upgrade of the A40. The improved infrastructure would enable the development of new living and employment areas using sustainable design principles, including improved cycling provision.
Oxfordshire County Council, the county’s transport authority, submitted the funding applications last September as part of a package of infrastructure investment needed to allow the development of new garden towns and villages across the county.
The announcement comes on top of the recently agreed £215 million Oxfordshire Housing & Growth Deal, which will fund transport improvements and more affordable housing.
Didcot Garden Town – £171m is sought for transport improvements including a Didcot Science Bridge and A4130 dual carriageway, a new river crossing at Culham and Clifton Hampden Bypass. This would support the delivery of over 22,000 homes in Didcot, Culham, Harwell and Berinsfield. Additionally up to £70m of cycle and other sustainable transport improvements are proposed for inclusion in the bid plan.
West Oxfordshire Garden Village – £135m is sought for further upgrades to the A40, building on existing schemes and based on the approved A40 Long Term Strategy including development of the Rapid Transit network and additional highway capacity on A40 transport corridor. This would support the delivery of over 10,000 homes in Witney & Carterton, and around Eynsham.
Final funding awards for the bids will be determined by Government following the agreement of detailed business plans on the delivery of the new infrastructure. The Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy, commissioned by the Growth Board, was used to identify infrastructure priorities that offered the prospect of a step-change in housing provision in a defined area.