Darwen East Development Corridor Funding Application
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: No
James Steer from the consultants Jacobs presented a report on the independent assurance of the Strategic Outline Business Case in support of the Darwen East Development Corridor funding application (DEDC).
The scheme comprised a series of junction improvements together with a short length of new road on the eastern side of the town that would unlock land to enable the future development of new housing and improve access to local employment opportunities identified within Blackburn with Darwen Council’s adopted Local Plan.
The project was predicted to deliver very high value for money with a benefit to cost ratio of 7.85 and had the potential to generate a further £0.55m of wider economic benefits per annum, arising from the development of employment sites that the scheme would unlock. The total cost for the scheme was expected to be £3.32m, with the LEP contributing £2.5m through the Lancashire Growth Deal. It was reported orally that BwDBC's S151 officer had provided a letter confirming the council's commitment to provide a local contribution to fund the balance between the allocated Growth Deal Funding and the scheme cost.
Having undertaken an independent assessment of the Strategic Outline Business Case on behalf of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Jacobs advised that they were satisfied thatthe project had been developed to the expected standard and recommended that the project to granted ‘Full Approval’ status, to enable construction to begin in February 2018
The Committee was reminded that Transport for Lancashire's Terms of Reference, part of the LEP's Assurance Framework, require that the LEP should not fund scheme development and preparation costs nor any post scheme monitoring and evaluation. However, given the DEDC is predominantly about unlocking development sites and therefore promoting economic growth, the Committee agreed to waive this requirement for the scheme in question pending a review of the Committee's Terms of Reference.
1. Pending a review of the Transport for Lancashire Committee's Terms of Reference, to waive the requirement of the LEP Assurance Framework not to fund scheme development and preparation costs given the scheme's clearly defined economic growth objectives.
2. That the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Board be recommended to grant the scheme £2.5m Growth Deal funding.
Report author: Dave Colbert
Date of decision: 20/11/2017
Decided at meeting: 20/11/2017 - LEP - Transport for Lancashire Committee