Show me the money – how will new town infrastructure be funded?

Hart District Council have made much of the supposed infrastructure benefits of  a new town in Hartley Wintney, Winchfield and Hook parishes to create a new Hartley Winchook conurbation.  But they have so far failed to spell out the infrastructure costs and not disclosed where the money would come from.  It is our belief that these alleged infrastructure benefits are a mirage and would not solve the acknowledged infrastructure issues in Fleet and Church Crookham. Any infrastructure money we get would be better spent regenerating our town centres and this can only be achieved with properly planned redevelopment of the numerous brownfield sites in our town centres.

Our estimate of infrastructure costs is over £300m, with the potential developer contributions of around £50m for a 5,000 house new town.  On its own, this delivers a funding gap of at least £250m, on top of the existing £78m infrastructure funding deficit.  The detail of our workings is shown below.  It is clear that despite two years of work since the last Local Plan failed, the proposals for a new town simply have not been thought through, so it would be madness to vote for a new town in the consultation.

We have created a dedicated consultation page and two guides to responding to the consultation that are available on the downloads below. The comments are designed to be cut and pasted into the boxes provided.  It will be very powerful if you could edit the comments into your own words. Please do find time to respond to the consultation and play your part in saving our countryside.

Full version:

Responses to Local Plan Consultation
Responses to Local Plan Consultation

2 Minute version:

Respond to Local Plan Consultation in 2 minutes
Respond to Local Plan Consultation in 2 minutes

Cost estimate:

Infrastructure itemNumber requiredCost per unit (£m)Cost (£m)
Roundabout (A30/B3016)144
Roundabout (A287/B3016)144
Roundabout (B3016/New Town)22.55
Roundabout (Pale Lane/A323)12.52.5
Roundabout (A287/Crondall Road)12.52.5
Roundabout (Pilcot Road/Hitches Lane)12.52.5
New Motorway Junction1100100
New roundabout on to A30 for SHL sites 126,136 & 169144
Sub-Total Roundabouts124.5
Bridge widening/strenghening River Hart at Queens Head11.51.5
Bridge widening/strenghening River Hart Pale Lane11.51.5
Railway bridges widening and strengthening3515
Sub-Total Bridges18
New roads into new town (1.5km)
Widening Bagwell Lane from new road to Station Road (1.5km)
Widening Taplins Farm Lane/Church Lane to Barley Mow (2 km)22.14.2
Widening Station Road to the Hurst (2km)22.14.2
Widen Pale lane from Barley Mow to A323 (2km)22.14.2
Widen Chatter Alley/Pilcot Rd from Barley Mow to Hitches Lane (2km)22.14.2
Access road improvements to new station around Totters Lane22.14.2
Sub-Total Roads27.3
Secondary School16060
Primary schools31030
Sub-Total Schools90
Sewage Works
New Sewage works off Pale Lane to west of Edenbrook12525
Sub-Total Sewage Works25
Electricity Pylons
Bury cables underground2.52050
Sub-total Electricity pylons50
Railway Station
New Railway Station at Murrell Green12525
Sub-Total Railway Station25

The sources for these numbers are as follows, with some references to HDC’s Infrastructure Delivery Update:

  • Roundabouts.  Cost of A30 improvements at Blackbushe is around £4m.  Roundabouts at either end of the B3016 will cross a dual carriageway and will likely require some element of approach road improvement, so reasonable to assume the cost of each change will be about the same.  There will also no doubt need to be a new roundabout on to the A30 at Murrell Green. I have scaled down this number for the additional roundabouts needed as they are simpler.
  • Bridge improvements estimated.  Both bridges over the river Hart (at the Queens Head pub and on Pale Lane) will need to be completely replaced and widened to cope with two way traffic and probably some road adjustments too.  The work on the railway bridges will be considerable to widen them to cater for two way traffic underneath, and potentially to strengthen them for double decker trains.  Plus the Barratts new town plan for Winchfield shows a new footbridge over the motorway that hasn’t been individually costed. The bridge on Totters Lane over the railway will also need improvement, but we understand it is listed, so that will be difficult.
  • Road costs estimated from this  2006 report from Imperial College London give a cost of £2.13m/km  of new single carriageway road.  Road lengths above taken from Google Maps.  The infrastructure delivery update indicated that a new M3 junction may be required, although it is unclear where that would be located, nor is it clear where they would build the access roads.   It is difficult to see how a brand new junction will give much change from £100m (despite Hart’s estimate of only £30m in the consultation papers), given a new junction at Birmingham airport will cost £250m.
  • Schools.  Hart Council have quoted £80-100m for new schools.  I have chosen the mid-point of that estimate in the figures above. Note that the secondary school (according to both the Barratts vision document and the Hart strategic assessment of the Winchfield site) is within a couple of hundred metres of the M3 and next door to Mildmay Oaks hospital where a convicted sex offender escaped earlier this year and one of the primary schools is located between the M3 and the railway, hardly a suitable environment for children to grow up in.
  • Electricity Pylons.  No-one is going to want to live underneath high voltage electricity pylons, and two lots of high voltage pylons cross the planned area for the new town.  Presumably they were put there originally because they weren’t near where people live.  It costs £1.6m/km to lay new pylon runs and £20m/km to bury cables.  The infrastructure delivery update indicated that burying the cables may be required “if these sites are to be developed optimally”, so I have used that figure in the calculations.
  • Railway Station.  It cost  over £8m to upgrade the facilities and car-park at Fleet, and even more expensive works would be required at Winchfield: it also cost £4m to extend the platforms at Bedford station.  But the infrastructure delivery update indicated that Winchfield station may be relocated and expanded, most likely to the west (north of the M3). The potential advantages of this approach would be that the existing station could continue to operate until the replacement station opened.  We have therefore estimated a cost of £25m for a new station and believe that this may well be an understatement, because the land will also need to be purchased and big road improvements would be needed on say Totters Lane to allow access to the new station.

Contribution estimate

We might expect around £50m from developing 5,000 new houses that have not yet received planning permission in the local plan.  This is based on only 3,000 houses being eligible for a CIL charge as 40% of what is built has to be “affordable” and does not attract a CIL charge.  If each house is 95 sq m, and the charge per sq m is £175, then this results in CIL funding of ~£50m.  If they use S106 instead of CIL, the yield can be expected to be broadly similar.

If anyone wishes to put forward an alternative or better estimate, with sources, we will gladly update our estimates accordingly.


Posted in Hart District Council, Hart Housing Options Consultation, Hart Local Plan, Hartley Winchook, Infrastructure Costs, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Pingback: The case for a brownfield solution to Hart District's housing needs

  2. Let me take you back forty-six years when we first moved to Hartley Wintney and commuted to London – there were three other men on the platform every morning – wearing pinstripes and bowler hats and carrying rolled umbrellas and briefcases. This is true! The car park was a third of the size it is now – can you imagine what it would be like with countless houses in Winchfield, because, rest assured, all those newcomers (as we were!) won’t be working locally?

  3. Us, of course. Through rates, taxes, increased rail fares, and, as someone else has posted – it’s not the developers, it’s the people who pay to buy their houses, so, yes, it’s ‘Us’.

  4. Oh yes, the length of the platforms at winchfield. That was the bit a certain council got wrong on the radio when he thought they were full length. Very embarrassing. Who would pay for a new station and lengthened platforms? Developers? Hart dc? Us? British rail?

  5. I think it really is “Mission Impossible”, and we can’r rely on fictional characters to make it work. Surely much better to make our investment pounds work harder by extending existing facilities?

  6. And the Green Lane Car Park (irony) is so busy at certain times of the day, we can barely get out of New Road! It’s a long way from the quiet lane we moved into forty-odd years ago. It would appear that parents and children are unable to walk to and from school any more – we can only expect things to get worse!

    • Yes, Natalie, that was what was happening at the Allotments in Church Lane, and why the yellow lines were put there – to stop the business people parking there. They now park outside the St John’s, between the yellow line area! Are there that many folk coming to school from Elvetham Heath?

    • yes, because the school wasn’t big enough to cater for all the children on the estate families have had to take their children elsewhere (although there are some who do so by choice). It’s a good example to use when council representatives say ‘we need more schools and a new town will provide them’ – the EH experience shows that within a few years (5, i think) of the new school opening there is a negative effect on local school places. Children from EH not only travel to HW but also other Fleet schools, thus the school at EH not only did not releive the pressure on school places in Fleet, it actually worsened it.

    • I believe I’m right in thinking that the Elvetham Heath School wasn’t funded by developers (possibly because having to build all that infrastructure would cost the developers too much money). It started off as Portakabins while someone (?) funded the development. Once the school moved in to the new buildings they realised it was too small and ended up having to raise funds for an extension. Now, it appears, that extension is at capacity too.

      This, on a site which contains a mere 1800 houses, far less than that proposed for a new town.

    • I’d lije to know how WHH thinks all the brownfield they want built on, and the urban extensions, will have local school places.

      A new school secondary (and primary) would need to be built – only a new settlement ultimately with over 4000/4500 homes would be sufficient to get County to build a new school. And it’s the only way there would be enough land.

      An extension to n existing school wouldn’t be sufficient / partly due to congestion and access issues, partly funding, partly the (Imm)practicality of creating a ‘mega school’ at Caythorpe Pk or one if the others.

      Suggesting Caythorpe could be extended to provide another 1000 or more places on top of what it already us coping with – and sufficient for the next 15-20 years, as WHH have done, shows a total lack of understanding of the situation.

      For the housing we are going to have to accommodate over the next 15-20 years, a new school will be needed. A new settlement provides the best (and only viable) way of delivering this.

      Wibchfield station currently has 1 space for every 3 residents – it’s underused, and could have vastly mire car park and passenger capacity. Easily. Fleet Station has 1 space per 80 residents and access us at capacity with peak hour traffic delays happening daily so just on these two points, a new settlement at Winchfield would be an asset. For many other reasons too.

      Re Hartley Wintney, any urban extensions on Fleet woukd cause similar or greater negative impact on HW (traffic, congestion, worse schooling access problems, overburden in community facilities, doctors etc ) than a new settlement at Winchfield – which would be self sufficient. There could be SANGS gaps between the two prohibited any risk of coalescence for ever.

    • Winchfield children go to Robert Mays not Calthorpe. A significant number of Fleet residents are now using Winchfield already due to the overcrowding situation at Fleet.

    • Schools. There is no evidence to demonstrate that new schools are needed because no planning for beyond 2018 has been done. Once the new leisure centre has been completed there will be space to expand Calthorpe.

      Railways. Of course Winchfield is used by many more people than the residents of Winchfield. If you would like to come to Winchfield after 7.30 on a rush hour morning it is very difficult to get a parking place or indeed a seat on a rush hour train. And of course Winchfield station has short platforms so can’t cope with trains longer than 8 carriages.

    • Of course HW would be severely impacted by the extra traffic on the A30 as would Hook.

      No SANG has been proposed on the land that links HW to the new town.

      HW is also impacted by EH already because of poor planning of school places there.

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