A councillor has raised concerns that a major housing scheme is almost “at the point of no return” as it costs the council £300,000 a month in interest.

A total of £148m has already been spent on Eastleigh Borough Council’s One Horton Heath project which is set to deliver 2,500 homes.

But recent council papers have shown that the authority, which was previously named as the third most at risk council in England due to its debts, is forking out £326,330 per month just on interest payments for the scheme.

Conservative councillor Steven Broomfield has since called for independent auditing of the project which he says is “sinking further and further visually and figuratively into the mud”.

But the leader of the council, Keith House (Lib Dem), said the project is also subject to scrutiny from several outside sources including Homes England.

Daily Echo: Cllr Keith House.Cllr Keith House.

Cllr House said: “Our One Horton Heath project, which is delivering high quality homes of all tenures to meet local need including council housing, is based on delivering infrastructure first to relieve the strain on local communities.

“The project requires upfront funding, that is financed by long-term income, as is usual with this type of development.

“One Horton Heath is performing to its business plan, and is already subject to scrutiny from our auditors and partners such as Homes England, the Government’s housing agency.

“Yet another review would simply waste taxpayers' money.”

READ MORE: Eastleigh Borough Council third most at risk due to debts

Current estimates show that the first homes won’t be complete until 2025, more than ten years since the first planning application for 950 homes at West Horton Heath was submitted.

Daily Echo: Cllr Steven BroomfieldCllr Steven Broomfield (Image: EBC)

Cllr Broomfield told the Echo: “When I ask for independent scrutiny, it's not just finances, it’s actually the whole plan. It’s how practical is it?

“Why is it that five years after they started work every deadline has been missed and we still haven’t seen any building and there’s no chance of seeing any houses for another 15 months and all the time we’re paying £300,000 a month to service the debt.

“I don’t think the people of Eastleigh are being best served. It seems very apparent that services are being diverted at Eastleigh to put into One Horton Heath.

“If it doesn’t make a profit I won’t cry myself to sleep over it, if it makes an 80m loss which is what the current figures seem to indicate, then I think we would be right to be perhaps a little bit miffed. Financially they’ve almost reached the point of no return.”

The Lib Dem council took over the delivery of One Horton Heath in 2018.

Cllr House added: “Conservatives have asked no questions at our Audit Committee: if they have questions all they need to do is ask.

“The first new homes will be sold and let in 2025, in line with our promise to deliver the new road link first so heavy construction traffic does not need to use roads near existing homes in One Horton Heath."