Next week's Budget could kick-start stalled Sherford housing scheme
A LONG-AWAITED new town on the outskirts of Plymouth is among the schemes expected to net government funding in next week's Budget, in a drive to kick-start the economy.
Hopes haves been raised that the stalled plans for thousands of new homes at Sherford will be among the major infrastructure projects the Chancellor George Osborne will look to unlock in a bid to boost the UK's flagging fortunes.
All the planning permissions are in place for the new community but the development has been thwarted by the downturn in the economy. Mr Osborne is under intense pressure to unveil measures that will help to deliver major construction schemes and bump-start growth before the next General Election.
Other possible projects include upgrades to the A303, a main route into the region which suffers from severe bottlenecks.
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Developer Red Tree's plans for Sherford include more than 5,000 homes. The proposals for a new community were first unveiled more than 15 years ago. The scheme, which is mostly in the South Hams District Council area, includes about 300 homes just inside Plymouth's boundary. It has been before planning committees from both councils several times.
Plans for the town include three primary schools, a secondary school and a health centre as well as land for retail and business and a park.
Conservative MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter said: "Of course we must wait for the Budget but I am hopeful that the Government will be able to help this new town become a reality because we desperately need these houses for our children and grand-children to live in. I think the Government is right to concentrate on infrastructure projects which create a boost to the economy and leave something useful behind."
He also hoped that improvements to the A303 would be looked at favourably by the Treasury.
Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View Alison Seabeck agreed. She said: "We would want to see investment in infrastructure supporting the South West regional economy, and investment in the roads system, given we only have two strategic routes, would be broadly welcomed in the far South West.