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Gillingham road
Left to right: Emma Baker, Project Team Manager, Highways, Dorset Council; Councillor David Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning; Steve Reece, Manager – Infrastructure Grants Project Management, Homes England; Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways; and Vinny Veness, Major Projects, Hanson Contracting.

The construction of a residential road in Gillingham is complete, paving the way for new homes in the town’s southern expansion.

With road, currently known as Principal Street, in place, the surrounding land will be used for new homes, a primary school, health facilities, sports pitches, play areas, shops and open leisure spaces.

A successful bid by Dorset Council to the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) secured £6.31 million to fund the design of the road and planning approval, and for construction of the road. As part of the agreement, the council will now recover the money from the housing developers for reinvestment in other housing projects across Dorset.

Hanson Contracting built the road for the council, connecting the B3092 New Road and B3081 Shaftesbury Road. Construction of the 0.8 mile long route incorporated services for utilities, water, and drainage, so it is ready for the development of housing.

The road will be adopted by Dorset Council, with the council taking responsibility for its maintenance. However, there will be no through-access along the new road until Redrow Homes has completed its first phase of housing development. This includes building a junction at the eastern end of Principal Street onto Shaftesbury Road

Redrow Homes will construct 961 homes on the site initially, including 25 percent affordable housing.

The road will have a 30mph speed limit, and a shared-use off-road cycleway/footway will run along each side of the carriageway, offering a safe and sustainable alternative to the car.

By working closely with Hanson, Dorset Council says it was able to keep the carbon impact of the road’s construction to a minimum. This included stabilising existing soils for the foundations, and crushing Dorset Council construction waste materials. This formed a cement bound granular material for the base layer, saving over 6000 tonnes of old concrete kerbs and road materials from going to landfill.

Low-energy technology was used to form the binder and surface course enabling the asphalt (tarmac-like surface) to be produced at 40 degrees Celsius less than traditional methods.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘Construction of this important link road has been a success in partnership and innovation. Through securing government funding for its construction that we will re-use for other housing development projects, and harnessing Hanson’s latest construction methods to minimise the carbon impact, innovation has been at the forefront of this scheme.

‘I am delighted to see the road’s completion, unlocking the vital infrastructure to support the development of homes.’

Councillor David Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: ‘This marks a significant milestone in enabling much needed homes and community facilities. We are committed to providing affordable housing and essential facilities, and this road will play a crucial role in achieving that vision.’

Steve Reece, infrastructure grants manager at Homes England, said: ‘We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners, such as Dorset Council, to create new homes and regenerate places that meet local needs and aspirations.

‘This funding has enabled vital infrastructure to support a new thriving community and will help the council bring forward more affordable homes and community assets that enhance the local area.’

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