HAMPSHIRE councillors have given their support to a £41.965 million spending plan for a new school, hundreds of homes and a long-awaited bypass.

Planning bosses are working on proposals for a new residential development which could see 650 homes and a new secondary school built on land west of Woodhouse Lane in Hedge End and 375 new homes on land north of Winchester Street in Botley.

They are also working to secure funding for the long-awaited Botley bypass, which aims to ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, members of the Botley Parish Action Group (BPAG) asked county councillors to set up a “wider and thorough” traffic and housing strategy before moving the plans forward and also consider the implications of the schemes to the rest of the parish and the surrounding areas.

But cabinet members at Hampshire County Council backed a multi-million pound investment to support the delivery of the schemes during a cabinet meeting held on October 16.

According to the spending plan supported by councillors, £20 million to fund the secondary school proposed for land at Woodhouse Lane would come from the government’s Education Skills and Funding Agency.

Meanwhile, £6 million to fund the first phase of the Botley by-pass and £15m to fund infrastructure and utility work to provide servicing to the new school and the housing sites would come from the county council.

The sites proposed for the new housing development and a new secondary school are owned by Hampshire County Council but have been identified for future housing development in Eastleigh Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, councillor Roy Perry, said that as the landowner, the county council is committed to creating a sustainable community, offering high quality homes for local people, with access to good transport, a secondary school and community facilities.

The county and borough council are also working together to secure funding for the long-awaited bypass in Botley and have recently submitted a bid for £10 million aimed at delivering the scheme.

The planning application for the bypass was submitted in August 2017.

Cllr Perry said: "Subject to receiving planning permission, it is likely that the next stages could be improvements to Woodhouse Lane, which could serve as an initial phase of the bypass and will cost in the region of £6m.”

The cabinet's decision has also been welcomed by Keith House, council leader at Eastleigh Borough Council.

He stressed the need of a new secondary school in the proposed area and also welcomed the joint work with the county council to deliver the bypass.

He said: "It is good to see the County Council working towards meeting Eastleigh Borough Council’s longstanding commitment to the Botley Bypass albeit even only with funding for the first phase. "