Opposition leaders have likened Eastleigh Borough Council to a 'gambler' after it sunk another £150m into its One Horton Heath project.

Conservative councillor Steve Broomfield slammed the council after it voted to spend an extra £154m on the 3,000-home development just before Christmas.

The extra funding brings the total cost for the project so far to £485.4 million and is expected to cover the costs of building the first batch of homes, a new school and other infrastructure.

Council leader Keith House previously said the scheme “represents a good investment in our community” and will “contribute income to pay for our local services”.

But Cllr Broomfield raised concerns over the council’s borrowing which he said was “optimistic” due to a possible change in government next year.

READ MORE: One Horton Heath: £160m to be approved as costs near half a billion

He told the Echo: “It is almost like a gambler who has sunk so much money that they are just chucking a few more quid at it to try and get back on even terms.

“I still think the project is overreached for a small council like Eastleigh.

“A lot of Eastleigh’s income is a product of the funding streams from Government which are only guaranteed until 2026.

“We will potentially have a new government in the next year. They might give more money or they may give less money.

“I do think it is a little bit optimistic of Eastleigh to assume that everything is going to go on the same as it has for the next 15 years. It doesn’t sit well.”

He also said he is worried about off-site infrastructure including roads which he said is “very much a mystery”.

Daily Echo: Cllr Steve Broomfield.Cllr Steve Broomfield.

Two days prior to voting for extra funding the authority was told to stop borrowing in a Government notice.

But Cllr House added that the council has “delivered infrastructure first” and that the government “is aware of our strategy and has supported it with infrastructure funding”.

The council is currently paying £300,000 a month in interest on its borrowing but once all houses are built, is expecting to make around £250,000 in profit each year as it pays off the debt over 50 years.

Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes said: “I think that the project is a money pit that the liberal council needs to stop.

“The project is in the red and it doesn’t make much of a return.”

He said the council is “gambling with taxpayers money” and called for One Horton Heath to be stopped so that external auditors can review the scheme.

He said: “They have always said that they want to deliver the whole of the project by the council being the developer.

“But now are actively looking to other developers to take on later stages. Which to me shows the project is a failure.”