Oxfordshire signs first scheme under new 'brownfield fund'

28/03/2024
Chris Ames

Oxfordshire County Council is the first local authority to secure project funding through Homes England's Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land (BIL) Fund.

The county signed an agreement to secure £17m towards its A34 Lodge Hill interchange scheme and has appointed Balfour Beatty to design and build the work.

The junction, which is located between Abingdon and Oxford, only has north-facing slip roads. The scheme will add south-facing slip roads A34, cycle and pedestrian safety improvements and layby upgrades on the A34.

This is the first scheme to enter into a contract under the BIL fund, which was launched last summer to 'bring forward strategic sites and housing-led opportunities, with at least 60% of activity focused on brownfield land'.

The council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and development strategy, said: ‘Securing funding from Homes England and appointing a design and build contractor represents major milestones for the project, and the council is now in a strong position to accelerate towards construction.’

Pauline Schaffer, director of infrastructure funding at Homes England, said: ‘Our multi-million pound funding will provide strategic transport infrastructure, unlocking 820 homes in north Abingdon and supporting wider housing and economic growth in the area.'

Balfour Beatty project director Matt Parkes said: ‘This important transport infrastructure project will support regional economic growth and on completion, will significantly improve connectivity and accessibility for local residents and the travelling public alike.’

The council said it will work with Balfour Beatty to satisfy the planning conditions ‘as soon as practicably possible’. It will also work collaboratively with National Highways to agree the design and construction methodology, followed by construction of the new A34 slip roads.

Detailed design of the scheme has already begun, with construction of local traffic calming works and layby upgrades expected to start later this year.

The main construction of the new slip roads is anticipated to start in the autumn and last around two years.

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