PLANS to make Hampshire communities greener have moved a step closer.

Councillors have backed Eastleigh Borough Council’s plans to play a lead part in the Solent Green Deal.

Launched last year, it aims to get homeowners in the south to make improvements to their homes.

Eastleigh is bidding, in conjunction with Southampton, Gosport and Portsmouth, for £2.4m from central Government.

This would be used for system build housing, private sector blocks of flats and energy efficiency improvements to streets and neighbourhoods.

The Government set up the Green Deal funding pot to which local authorities can apply for up to £3m to support their green schemes.

Cabinet members approved Eastleigh’s involvement in the project.

If won, the money would fund the project management and support cost, but not council officers’ time to manage and supervise spending.