A £10.5 million scheme to create 2,000 jobs in South Derbyshire and relieve congestion on one of its busiest roundabouts has taken a step forward. A vital road link which will ease congestion and create thousands of jobs and hundreds of homes in the district is on the cards as part of a £63 million funding boost for the region.
Derbyshire County Council has long championed the Woodville-Swadlincote Regeneration Route but funding has never previously been available. Now, the development is poised to go ahead after the Government handed the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership a £63 million funding boost for schemes in its spring budget.
D2N2, which includes councils and businesses from across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, has highlighted the £10.5 million scheme as one of its priority projects. The development, which centres on a new link road from the A511 through the brownfield 'Tollgate Park' site to the A514, is expected to create 1,873 jobs and 173 homes.
Councillor Paul Dunn, who represents Swadlincote Central, which includes Woodville, on Derbyshire County Council has championed the scheme since his election and said: "It is marvellous news. I have been doing this for four years.
"It has been a priority for the county council for the last few years and has finally got to the top of the list. There has been Markham Vale which is obviously just as necessary.
"The main benefits will be jobs and one thing residents will notice is the relief for one of the most infamous roundabouts in the Midlands (Tollgate).
"It will be in the 2018/19 financial year when things will start to get moving. We fully expect that after the public consultation then a planning application will follow."
The county council leader Anne Western said: "This funding announcement is fantastic news for businesses and residents in the south of the county.
"We've been beating the drum about the need for a new road and associated developments on this site for a long time, and have done a lot of preparatory work to get things in place, but funding has never previously been available to allow it to happen.
"It will bring jobs to the area by opening up brownfield sites for development and deliver a major transport boost by reducing congestion in some of the area's worst hotspots."
She added: "There is still work to be done to ensure all land for the scheme is in place, and planning consent will be needed, but this is a massive leap forward for a project which is fantastic news for the area."
MP for South Derbyshire, Heather Wheeler, said: "I was delighted to receive the good news that our constituency is to benefit from the Woodville regeneration project. I met with Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for communities and Local Government to hear the news first hand.
"The funding is part of a cash boost of £63 million for the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area to help create jobs, build homes, raise productivity, support businesses and encourage economic growth. The project which featured second on the list of priorities for the fund, shows clearly that this Government has chosen to back Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with this new £63 million funding pot.
"The Woodville Regeneration Route (WRR) is a widely supported highway scheme which is proposed to benefit traffic distribution to the south east of Swadlincote, linking Occupation Lane to Swadlincote Road and relieving some traffic pressure on the Clock roundabout which forms a junction (A511/A514) with Burton Road. The WRR has the additional benefit of facilitating a high quality access and stimulating the regeneration of a large area of land lying north of Occupation Lane.
"Planners at South Derbyshire District Council believe that the Woodville Regeneration Route project has the potential to deliver a high quality and sustainable development which will accommodate some of the district's much-needed employment and housing growth.
"The plans provide for a genuine, sustainable and inclusive mixed development which will support economic growth well into the future. Evidence on current growth in our area shows our constituency is a hugely popular area for people to aspire to live and work. This has been acknowledge by our Government and this huge financial boost reflects this.
"I am so proud to be the MP for South Derbyshire where, especially on brownfield land, we are keen to accept development and this will be a huge relief to those living near and those using Tollgate Island."
Residents and businesses can get more information on the proposed development during two exhibitions at Swadlincote Library from noon to 4pm on Saturday, March 18, and from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, March 21.