Issue details

21/00047 Dover Fastrack

The Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation is asked to give approval for the County Council to:

i) all acts required to carry out and complete the Dover Fastrack scheme;
ii) all acts required to acquire the land and rights for the carrying out and completion of the Dover Fastrack scheme, including by means of a compulsory purchase order;
iii) the delegation to the Interim/Corporate Director of Growth, Environment & Transport under the Officer Scheme of Delegations following prior consultation with the Cabinet Member, any further or other decisions as may be appropriate to deliver the Dover Fastrack scheme.
iv) confirm that other decisions in Record of Decision 15/00053 remain extant.

 

Dover Fastrack(formerly known as Dover Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)) is a proposed high quality dedicated bus scheme (like that operating in North Kent) that is a fundamental part of Dover District Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy and current Local Plan Review to 2040 to support inter alia the delivery of 5,750 new homes as part of the Whitfield Urban Expansion.  It will also provide connectivity to the White Cliffs Business Park, the development of up to 500 new homes at Connaught Barracks, the town centre and Dover Priory station.  The key infrastructure involves i) a link from White Cliffs Business Park on a new bridge over the A2 and a route through Phase 1A of the Whitfield Urban Expansion to link up with Archers Court Road; ii) a link from White Cliffs Business Park to Dover Road and iii) localised widening and improvements to Dover Road.  The scheme received planning consent in March 2021.

 

Land is required, primarily, from the developer of Phase 1A of the Whitfield Urban Expansion.  Negotiations have commenced and while it is hoped that agreement can be reached the use of compulsory purchase is required to give overall land availability and programme certainty.

 

Following a Report to Environment & Transport Cabinet Committee 8 August 2019, a Record of Decision 19/00053 gave a wide range of authorities to allow the scheme to proceed.  However, compulsory purchase is a strong power available to local authorities and it is appropriate to seek an updated and specific authority for its use.

 

How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’

 

The scheme supports the objectives by reducing congestion, improving the highway infrastructure to provide more reliable journey times and improved public transport links and accessibility, to support Kent business and housing growth and encourage economic activity to benefit the local and wider communities.

 

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: Dover North; Dover Town; Dover West;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 07/06/2021

Decision due: Not before 6th Jul 2021 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead director: Simon Jones

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: John Farmer, Projects Manager - Major Projects 07740 185252 Email: john.farmer@kent.gov.uk.

Consultees

There has been public awareness as part of Dover District Council’s development of their Local Plan and current review. There was specific consultation on the Dover Fastrack scheme in Summer 2020 as part of the scheme development. Consultation has also been carried out by the planning authority as part of its consideration leading to the recent grant of planning consent.


Financial implications: • Financial Implications – There are no financial implications to KCC capital budgets as these decisions relate to the infrastructure elements only. Dover District Council made a successful funding bid through Homes England’s Marginal Viability Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for the delivery of the project. The Fastrack operation aspects are and will continue to be subject to a separate decision route. • Estimated cost and funding The overall estimated cost of the project is circa £20m, and main funding is from central government together with a contribution from Dover District Council. Funding is being progressively drawn down from Homes England by Dover District Council and KCC will always be in a cash positive position. The construction estimate is considered robust with a significant contingency and risk provision but will be kept under review

Legal implications: There are no legal implications associated with this scheme.

Equalities implications: An updated EQIA Assessment will be included with the Committee report.