Tens of millions 'will be needed to pay for roads' as new homes built in Leicestershire
Tens of millions of pounds will need to be spent on building new roads and improving existing ones to cope with the impact of thousands of new homes being built in Leicestershire, experts have revealed.
Charnwood Borough Council is trying to decide on which sites should be earmarked for construction over the next 15 years so it can meet Government-set house building targets.
It needs to find space for about 11,000 homes, as well as 276 acres of employment land, by 2028. It is anticipated there will be a large increase in traffic resulting from the developments and a new report by transport consultants MVA said nearly £80 million will have to invested so the roads can handle it.
The suggested improvements include dualling Troon Way and building a £17 million road from Barkby Thorpe Lane to Hamilton Lane.
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Developers will be expected to meet those costs and opponents of the proposed house-building, which will be largely on farmland, say the vast expense could deter builders.
The Barkby and Barkby Thorpe Parishes Action Group (Babtag) is fighting plans to build 4,500 properties on the edge of Thurmaston.
Babtag chairman Owen Bentley said: "The sheer cost of the road improvements needed is a concern. Developers will need to pay millions up front before they have built a single home.
"There are also some very contentious roads that will need to be built.
"Also, these measures start from the basis that the traffic is at acceptable levels at the moment. Roads around us are already congested."
Mr Bentley said Babtag had asked its own traffic consultants to challenge the findings of the council's experts and he is expecting their response later this month.
The council's cabinet is set to discuss the report when it meets in April, ahead of a public consultation in May.
Council leader David Slater said the cost of the road improvements would not put off developers.
He said: "It works out to be £7,100 per dwelling. If you assume each house will be £200,000 on average, I don't think it will be prohibitive.
"So much major infrastructure is needed and the building can't go ahead without it."