To consider funding arrangements for the junction improvements.
The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder/Finance and Resources Portfolio Holder presented a report seeking approval to enable the funding package for the A590 Cross a Moor Junction Improvement Scheme to be secured and the legal agreements made so that scheme delivery could proceed.
The Leader asked the meeting if the motion was agreed. There was no dissent.
RESOLVED - That
(1) the change in the funding requirements for the junction improvements be noted;
(2) approval be given for South Lakeland District Council, subject to funding arrangements being approved by the Cumbria LEP and amendments to the Council’s budget being approved by Full Council, to:-
(a) enter an agreement with Highways England under Section 274 of the Highways Act 1980 to make a funding contribution to Highways England for the junction improvement scheme, and that the contribution comprises £300,000 (SLDC funds), £925,000 (Growth Deal funding), £1,735,000 (Developer contributions through Section 106 agreements) and a contingency of up to £675,000;
(b) enter an agreement with Cumbria County Council (Acting as Accountable Body for Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership) for £925,000 Growth Deal grant funding towards the scheme;
(c) enter an agreement with Cumbria County Council (Acting as Accountable Body for Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership) for a loan from the Cumbria Investment Fund of £1,735,000 plus £675,000, repayable as Section 106 developer contributions are received and return of unspent contingency monies, with no binding obligation to repay the whole sum; and
(d) to agree to underwrite the current funding gap as described in paragraphs 3.9 and 3.10 of the report up to a cap of £896,667;
(3) approval be given for work to continue jointly with Cumbria County Council to investigate and secure where possible additional external funding to address the funding gap;
(4) the Director Strategy, Innovation and Resources, be delegated authority, in consultation with the Legal Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist, Finance Lead Specialist and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources to put in place the necessary legal agreements which enable the funding of the scheme and manage the consequential risks faced by the Council; and
(5) Council be recommended that its budget 2020/21 and 2021/22 be amended to accommodate the level of income and expenditure associated with the Council’s contribution to the scheme, including provision for the underwriting mechanism.
Reasons for Decision
The A590 Cross a Moor Junction Improvement would ensure delivery of over 1,000 dwellings in south Ulverston on sites allocated in the adopted Local Plan. It would, therefore, play a key role in the Council’s priority for delivering housing, particularly affordable housing. The scheme is highly significant for the housing priority in the Council Plan, and for the delivery of around 20% of planned housing provision in the Local Plan to 2025.
The scheme is also central to future economic growth in South Lakeland. The lack of people, particularly of working age, has been identified as a significant challenge to business growth in the area. The increased housing that this project will facilitate will allow more people to live and work in the area, increasing the supply of labour for business of all sizes and sectors.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
The development of the scheme to date has considered alternative options for the design of the junction improvement and how the scheme is funded and delivered.
It is considered that the recommended way forward presents the optimal means to best ensure the delivery of the scheme and the resultant benefits of housing delivery, including significant numbers of affordable homes.