[A] £100m bid for cash to deliver a new Carlisle southern link road has this week been submitted to the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. The county council’s bid is being backed by Carlisle City Council, Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership, Carlisle’s MP John Stevenson and Transport for the North.
If successful, the cash would provide the funding needed to take the next steps in the development process and fund construction of the road itself. Currently initial exploratory work, including discussion with local landowners, is underway to assess possible route options for the new road. A consultation is planned for early next year give the public the opportunity to look at the options that emerge and provide feedback. Any final scheme would be subject to a formal planning process, including further opportunity for public feedback.
The aim of the Housing Infrastructure Fund is to help kick start new housing by funding the delivery of infrastructure, like new roads, that is necessary to allow housing development. Access to the fund is competitive and local councils have been invited to submit expressions of interest. The county council’s bid follows close discussion with Carlisle City Council, the Cumbria LEP and John Stevenson MP. It is intended to support the vision for a new Garden Village – St Cuthbert’s – to the south of the city with up to 10,000 new homes, as set out in the Carlisle District Local Plan.
If this initial bid is successful the council will be invited to prepare a business case next spring. This would be used by government to determine whether or not to fund the project. The government has not yet notified councils of exactly when the outcome of bids will be announced.
Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said:
“A new road to the south of the city is vital if we want to support Carlisle’s growth and future prosperity. It would unlock a large swathe of land for housing as well as improving connections into the west of the county for those coming from the south. The economic benefit would be significant.
“£100m is serious money, and competition for it from other areas will be fierce so we’re not taking anything for granted. But I’m urging government to look closely at the merits of what we’re proposing.”