FUNDING to build a road that enables a contentious planning application to move forward has been given the green light. 

Government has today announced a £7.2million investment in a new Staplegrove Spine Road.

The new link road will support the 1,628 home plan which was approved by Taunton Deane Borough Council in October.

Somerset County Gazette:

The link road has been described as an important part of Taunton's project to become a Garden Town.

The £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is a government capital grant programme to help unlock new homes in areas with the greatest housing demand. Funding is awarded to local authorities on a highly competitive basis.

Up to 200,000 new homes are set to get off the ground as government confirms £866 million investment in 133 local housing projects.

The Staplegrove road is one of the projects that have been given government backing with the aim of building new homes. 

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Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Our priority is building the homes this country desperately needs.

"This first wave of investment totalling £866 million will help get up to 200,000 homes off the ground, making a huge difference to communities across the country.

"This is just one of the many ways this government is taking action to get Britain building homes again."

Somerset County Gazette:

The proposed route for the spine road. 

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MP for Taunton Deane, Rebecca Pow, has welcomed the news. 

She said: “I am delighted with this announcement for the £7.2m and that my calls for the spine road have been heeded.

"Having met with many local groups to understand their concerns, I have raised this in Parliament in speeches, at Prime Ministers Questions, at Business questions with the Leader of the House of Commons and with Ministers.

"In addition, I bought the former Housing Minister, Alok Sharma to Staplegrove to meet with local residents and make the case for funding, and he was left in no uncertain terms about the need for this road.

"I am very pleased that the Government has listened and this is exactly the infrastructure that needs to be in place to make our housing viable."

Elsewhere in the Deane, the council says it is delighted to hear that its hard work has paid off.

"It is tremendous – to say the least – that we have been successful in securing this hugely important money for our Garden Town development,” said Cllr John Williams, leader of the council.

"It will ensure that we can deliver tangible solutions to the concerns raised by so many in the community.

"We have an excellent track record in securing external funding, either on our own initiative or in partnership with others. I am grateful for the support of SCC and Taunton’s MP Rebecca Pow who also arranged a visit to the site by the Housing Minister to hear and view first hand, how critical this funding was for the community.

“Last but not least we must express our thanks and appreciation to all who put the bid together and presented such a compelling case. This award from the HIF Marginal Viability Fund will help to deliver the spine road – essential for the two developments at Staplegrove and bring forward this new Garden Community.”

Roger Habgood, portfolio holder for planning policy and transportation at Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: "It's great news. 

"We tried to make the bid as good as possible so we would be successful. 

"We knew how important the spine road is and I am really happy that the team work has paid off to benefit the community."