Agenda item

Melton Mowbray Distributor Road South.


(Mrs. P. Posnett CC, having declared a registrable interest in the report, left the meeting during consideration of this item).


The Cabinet considered a joint report of the Director of Environment and Transport and the Director of Corporate Resources which presented the latest position in relation to the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road South (MMDR S) project and sought approval for the proposed way forward in light of the financial implications detailed.  The Cabinet also considered a supplementary report which clarified the position of Homes England regarding the project and its approach to the provision of grant funding in connection with the scheme.  A copy of the report and the supplementary report, both marked ‘Agenda Item 6’, are filed with these minutes.


Mr. Breckon CC reiterated the Council’s commitment to the delivery of the scheme.  However, there was currently a high level of financial uncertainty and it was likely that costs associated with the project could increase further.  Any additional funding by the Council would require further service reductions to be made as a consequence.




a)      That the County Council’s ongoing commitment to Melton Borough Council’s (MBC) Local Plan strategy be confirmed;


b)   That Homes England (HE) be informed that despite the best efforts of the County Council, it is unable to meet the terms and conditions within the Grant Determination Agreement in order to draw down any further grant monies from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF);


c)   That it be noted that:


i.    funding of £0.9m has been drawn down out of a total HIF grant offer of £18.2m;

ii.    there is therefore no unspent funding to be returned to HE;

iii.   in the absence of further grant to fill the funding gap of a scheme whose total estimated cost is now £70.5m, the County Council will be unable to proceed at present with construction of the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road South (MMDR S);

iv.   MBC and other stakeholders be advised accordingly;


d)   That the County Council’s Capital Programme 2023-27 be amended, as set out in paragraph 20 of the Original Report, noting that this will include funding for development of an alternative delivery strategy (£0.5m), costs incurred on the programme which will be unrecoverable (£1.3m) and withdrawal of the existing strategy (£1.7m) for the MMDR S at a likely total cost of £3.5m;


e)   That the MMDR North and East scheme be amended as required;


f)    That the Director of Environment and Transport and the Director of Corporate Resources, following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Lead Members, be authorised to pursue discussions to seek additional funding, including with MBC, the local Member of Parliament, the Department for Transport and developers.






The published Report to the Cabinet explained the up-to-date financial position regarding the MMDR S scheme and the Council’s options in light of that position.  The supplementary report revises certain references to the position of Homes England following the publication of the report.


Homes England wrote to the Council on 16 October 2023 advising that it was of the view that it would be incorrect to state that it had withdrawn from the MMDR S project.


Statements to the effect that Homes England had withdrawn the grant were set out in paragraphs 2 c), 5 and 36 of the Original Report.


The Council accepts that Homes England has not communicated an intention to withdraw from the Grant Determination Agreement (in the sense of being unwilling to perform its obligations under the Grant Determination Agreement) and the published report should be read in light of that.


Homes England also pointed out that the position under the GDA is an issue for Homes England and the County Council and did not extend to Melton Borough Council and recommendation (b) above has been amended to reflect that.


(Mrs. P. Posnett CC returned to the meeting).

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