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7 February 2011, 10:29 | Updated: 21 February 2011, 16:56
A massive regeneration scheme that would bring new life to the Tipner area of Portsmouth has moved a step closer to receiving government funding.
The scheme, to build a new junction off the M275 motorway, would open up Tipner to redevelopment work, bringing in new jobs and homes and could also help new developments at Port Solent and Horsea Island. It has been designed to cope with whatever development happens in the future.
In the same announcement from the Department of Transport, proposals for a replacement railway bridge at Northern Road, Cosham have also made the cut to be considered for government funding. The present bridge is coming to the end of its working life.
Cllr Mike Hancock, the council's Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "This commitment from the government is a huge vote of confidence in the Tipner and Northern Road bridge projects, and in Portsmouth.
The decision on the M275 scheme is an important milestone on the way to reaching our goal, a comprehensive redevelopment of Tipner. We want the area to be an attractive gateway to the city, with new opportunities for residents.
The news on government funding is a positive message to private sector investors involved in delivering this major regeneration scheme.
"Developers need to know there is a proper road system in place, and people living on residential roads need to know that new developments will not depend on traffic using their streets."
The Tipner proposal would see northbound and southbound slip roads joining a new roundabout underneath the motorway at Tipner Lane. Also included is a bus and taxi lane alongside the southbound slow lane of the M275, between the new roundabout on Tipner Lane and Rudmore Roundabout.
A comprehensive redevelopment scheme for Tipner could bring up to 1,600 new homes, 1,500 jobs and a park-and-ride site, and create an attractive modern gateway to the city.
The council will have to find a contribution from its own budget and from partners for the two schemes. Construction could start as early as April 2012 with the new junction ready a year later.
Cllr Jason Fazackarley, the council's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "With a number of schemes already discounted, I'm delighted with this news that both Portsmouth projects are still in the running. Getting commitment to fund these essential projects is really important to Portsmouth."
Both the Tipner and Northern Road Bridge proposals moved from a pre-qualifying pool to a development pool. Nine schemes from other local authorities were turned down at this stage. Portsmouth's two scheme proposals will now be considered on merit against the other 21 still in the running.
Members and officers from the city council will now be working extremely hard to refine the business case for the two projects and to keep the profile high with government ministers. Should a positive decision be made about both schemes at the end of the year, work could start within four months of funding being confirmed.