This summer, work will start on the construction of a new road to support the southern expansion of Gillingham, with preparations underway on site.
Dorset Highways contractor Hanson UK has started setting up site offices and the compound needed while the Principal Street is built between New Road and Shaftesbury Road, as well as building construction access from Shaftesbury Road.
The 1.3km-long residential road will have a 30mph speed limit and a shared footway/cycleway on both sides of the road, it will have street-lighting, parking spaces and green verges planted with trees to enhance its feel as a residential area.
The road will be adopted by Dorset Council at the end of its construction, with the council taking responsibility for its maintenance.
There will be no through-access along the route until Welbeck Land Ltd has completed its first phase of development, which includes building the final junction at the eastern end of Principal Street (onto Shaftesbury Road).
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said: ‘The construction of Gillingham’s Principal Street will provide the vital infrastructure needed to support the development’s needs, which in turn will help provide much needed affordable housing and benefits for the local community.
‘Our funding agreement with Homes England ensures that the road is paid for by the development while also allowing it’s construction in one go – which is more economical and will prove less disruptive to residents and drivers.’
Sophie White, Director of Infrastructure Grants at Home England, said: ‘Without the correct infrastructure in place, it’s difficult for communities to thrive. Our funding injection allows this crucial road to be built providing safe access for cars, bicycles and pedestrians, ensuring that further strain is not placed on other local resources and unlocking much needed land for housing.’
A successful bid to Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) granted £6.31m to fund the design of the road, secure planning approval and build the road through the development.
This money will be recovered through Section 106 developer contributions from the expansion which will be reinvested in housing projects across Dorset.
Gillingham southern expansion is set to deliver 1,800 homes plus a new primary school, health facilities, sports pitches, play areas, shops and open spaces.