More than £3m worth of walkways and cycle routes are on their way to Whitehill & Bordon after East Hampshire District Council secured funding for the project.
The money, from the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, will be used to make improvements to a network of walking and cycling routes around the town.
The routes, called the ‘Green Grid’ and ‘Green Loop’, connect the town’s green spaces and new developments – including the new town centre and secondary school.
EHDC will be using the money as part of its Green Town vision to make Whitehill & Bordon a green, healthy and connected town. The network aims to reduce car journeys and encourage people to walk or cycle. This is part of a wider strategy to make it easier to move around the town and to improve public transport.
As part of this work, improvements will be made on Budds Lane to improve walking and cycling routes to the new school and town centre and pedestrian and cyclist crossings will be built across the A325.
Cllr Ferris Cowper, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this money which will be used to make vast improvements to the town.
“It’s extremely important to us that people can get around the town by foot or by bike, so this money will allow us to put the infrastructure in place to make this easy to do.
“A lot of hard work goes into making this town as green and sustainable as possible and I’m very excited to see even more results!”
Although this bid is to improve the walking and cycling routes, EHDC’s commitment to making the town green, healthy and connected doesn’t stop there.
The council has also worked closely with housing developers to raise environmental standards in all the new homes built in Whitehill & Bordon. The houses, particularly on Radian’s development Quebec Park, are being built to high quality and environmental performance, which means they are energy-efficient and will provide long-term savings for residents.
The homes on Quebec Park have been built to such high standards that Radian has been shortlisted for a national award for Sustainable New Build Project of the Year by SHIFT (Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow) – which is an assessment and accreditation scheme that demonstrates organisations are delivering against challenging environmental targets.
A range of renewable technologies, which use natural resources such as sunlight and heat to create energy, are being installed across the town, particularly solar panels in the new developments.
EHDC has also ensured that more than £800,000 has been used towards energy-efficiency measures in existing homes. EHDC also offers an interest free loan, called COSY, to residents of Whitehill & Bordon and Lindford. COSY loans can be used towards energy-saving home improvements, such as insulation, a new boiler, double or triple glazing windows or solar panels. For more information visit: www.easthants.gov.uk/cosy-east-hampshire
Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures provide the town with 79 hectares of much-needed green, open space for people of all ages to enjoy and wildlife to flourish. Both have been improved over the past couple of years as part of the town’s green vision. The Hogmoor Inclosure now has a natural play area for children made from natural materials such as logs and mounds and the Bordon Inclosure has seen a number of enhancements designed by the Community Arts Project, led by the Phoenix Theatre & Arts Centre, making the space more attractive and accessible.
Dave Axam, Chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the LEP is continuing to support growth in Whitehill & Bordon, building on maximising the benefits from our investment in the relief road.
“This project is the next stage in providing infrastructure and supporting access to new development sites in the town. It is a key component in the transformation of the area into a more attractive investment proposition for businesses, supported by a more reliable local transport network.
“Overall our investment will help bring forward the delivery of 3,350 new homes, approximately 63,000m2 of new employment, commercial and community floor space and create up to 5,500 jobs as part of the redevelopment of Whitehill & Bordon into a thriving new Green Town.”
Cllr Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, said: “The county council fully supports Whitehill & Bordon’s regeneration into a green and healthy town.
“The new relief road provides the ideal opportunity to take a fresh look at how people get around and how to best integrate new developments and facilities.
“We’re currently working on proposals for a collection of transport schemes planned to be put in place over the coming years, once the relief road becomes the main route for through traffic, including improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, and this funding is a welcome boost in connecting sustainable travel routes around the town.”