New £140M South Lancs highway halted and cash returned to authorities

Lancashire County Council has ordered the pause of labor on a £140M scheme to construct a brand new highway off the M6 because it re-evaluates the proposals.

The job would have seen a brand new highway between the M6 junction 33 and a proposed backyard village in south Lancaster, in addition to a brand new park and experience. The £140M for the job, which was granted by way of the Housing Infrastructure Fund, will likely be returned to the federal government.

The council stated the choice has been made amid rising prices pushed by building inflation, which have elevated the pressures on and danger to the general public purse, and “different circumstances that will influence on the ultimate supply”.

It added that the choice had been made after in depth discussions between Lancashire County Council, Lancaster Metropolis Council and Properties England, which additionally took under consideration design and engineering issues.

In January 2022, Costain was appointed initially as guide on the job with a view to be the primary contractor in a deal price probably £100M.

Costain had not but been commissioned to ship the development of the scheme and had been working solely as guide up to now. It was Costain’s recommendation that exhibited to the companions that the funding mechanisms wouldn’t be adequate to ship the scheme. As such, the lack of the job doesn’t have an effect on the corporate’s order e book as introduced in its monetary yr leads to March.

Lancashire County Council retains a want to develop plans for this space of south Lancaster to create sustainable communities and unlock long-term site visitors points, however it will likely be re-evaluating its plans.

The intention of the challenge is to offer south Lancaster residents with higher journey decisions, together with new public transport infrastructure alongside new roadbuilding to ease the congestion by way of the village of Galgate. It’s also supposed to unlock entry to the proposed Bailrigg Backyard Village and surrounding settlements. New training and well being services are supposed to be a part of the event too.

Lancaster Metropolis Council chief Phillip Black stated: “I’m happy that the council and Properties England have taken the smart determination to droop and re-evaluate plans for South Lancaster in gentle of inflationary pressures and rising prices.

“Nonetheless, as a authorities planning inspector just lately acknowledged, there’s an overriding want for housing inside the Lancaster district.  All events concerned recognise that the South Lancaster space nonetheless has a component to play in assembly this housing want sooner or later, however now’s the time to evolve our strategic imaginative and prescient of housing developments in our district.

“The choice to cease work on the present plans supplies a real alternative for various, place-based growth proposals to emerge in tandem with the mandatory infrastructure (transport, together with sustainable transport, colleges, healthcare and employment).

“That’s our subsequent huge problem, to ship the proper of housing, in the fitting locations, that’s inexpensive, with the fitting infrastructure, to create vibrant and built-in communities in a way that additionally responds to our native local weather change mitigation aspirations.

“We are going to work with our companions and our native communities to develop this new imaginative and prescient.”

Properties England director of infrastructure Pauline Schaffer stated: “Now we have been working with Lancashire County and Lancaster Metropolis Councils for a number of years on this challenge and respect the challenges it has confronted and the place that has been reached.

“We stay dedicated to supporting our companions in Lancashire and can proceed working with them outdoors of the HIF programme with a concentrate on place-based growth below our new strategic plan.”

A Costain spokesperson stated: “Now we have been advising Lancashire County Council on their scheme within the face of funding and world inflationary pressures. We had been contracted to work on a consultancy foundation and so the council’s determination to droop the scheme may have no materials influence on Costain or our future order-book.”

The information follows Costain’s elimination from Nationwide Highways’ £1.3bn A66 Trans-pennine improve.

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