Kent County Council's £4bn projected shortfall
A worrying financial report shows County Hall needs to find nearly £4billion to build roads and infrastructure by 2031.
Kent County Council leaders have warned that existing infrastructure will not cope with an anticipated population rise of 396,300 and have called for more investment.
Last week the Kent and Medway Growth and Infrastructure Framework [GIF] published a report into the challenges and opportunities likely to face the region in years ahead.
- Kent and Medway will see 396,000 new people, 178,500 homes built and 170,300 more jobs by 2031.
- With a 14.3 per cent increase in the number of cars in the past ten years, roads will come under further pressure.
- This will bring a total infrastructure cost of £16billion.
- Of this 76 per cent has been secured already or is expected. This leaves Kent and Medway with a £3.96billion funding gap.
Cllr Mike Whiting, a county council Cabinet member, said ‘new approaches’ are required to bridge the gap.
“Kent and Medway are embracing growth,” the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste said, upon the report’s release.
We recognise the benefits business and housing growth brings to the county in terms of new jobs, new facilities, and new communities.
“However, the GIF makes it clear that the current mechanisms in place for the planning, funding and delivery of infrastructure are not sufficient for accommodating the level of growth planned for Kent and Medway.
“New approaches are required to secure the additional public and private investment needed and the GIF includes a forward-thinking action plan to begin to close the investment gap.
“Over the coming year, we will be looking to develop a GIF Implementation Plan to take forward these actions.”
The county council said since 2015 they have been able to secure an extra £120million for a range of schemes, including the Lower Thames Crossing and building of 15,068 homes.