A decision, due today, on whether to hand back £15m of government funding for a new relief road around Melton has been delayed by Leicestershire County Council (LCC)
LCC had considered returning the money after failing to reach an agreement with Melton Borough Council (MBC) about how a £50m cost for the project would be redeemed.
Leicestershire Couty Council said it couldn't afford to pay such an amount upfront without financial guarantees from Melton Borough Council that developers - who want to build thousands of homes south of the town - would agree to foot the rest of the bill.
Cllr Joe Orson, Leader of Melton Borough Council welcomed the news that Leicestershire County Council have deferred their decision regarding the Housing Infrastructure Fund grant.
Speaking after the decision to defer the decision in a County Council meeting today, Cllr Orson said: “I am absolutely delighted the County Council has listened to everyone who has spoken up in the last week and I want to thank my colleagues at County Hall for recognising they needed to rethink their position. Rejecting the HIF grant would have been so counterproductive. It would have killed the road and been so damaging for Melton, and we simply cannot allow that to happen.
Cllr Joe Orson delivering the petition to Leicestershire County Council. Photo: Melton Borough Council.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who signed the petition. With nearly 2,500 signatures it shows how important this is to the people of Melton and what can happen when communities unite to bring about change. I am also extremely grateful for the support of our MP Alicia Kearns who has worked tirelessly on this issue, alongside the support and assistance received from MBC Council officers and members, my fellow District Council Leaders and the MHCLG Secretary of State.
There is still much to do and I welcome the County Council’s commitment to restart discussions with MHCLG to find a way that the grant can be accepted and the road built. We will continue to support the County Council and collectively we must now make this happen!”
Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns said it was good news in a tweet this afternoon. She added: "Thank you everyone for making your voice heard. Now we need to get on and reach an agreement - Melton has waited long enough"