PLANS for a 3,500 new housing development face severe delays because of stalemate over funding for a crucial highways scheme.

A deadlock between Winchester City Council, developers and the Government risks losing £14m earmarked for major road in improvements in Whiteley, the catalyst for the major North Whiteley housing development.

The proposal, which would include three schools, new commercial shop units and 50 hectares of green space, was submitted by a consortium made up of developers Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Bovis Homes and JGP Lakedale was approved by Winchester City Council in October, 2015.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) pledged £14m from its growth fund to extend Whiteley Way through to Curdridge and to improve Bluebell Way to provide direct access to the new development from Botley.

Last autumn Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery met Andrew Jones, the minister for motorways who promised just over £6m of improvements for junction 9 of M27, another key to the development, but no agreement for this been signed.

The developer consortium however say a deal is expected to be reached very soon.

A consortium spokesperson said: “The North Whiteley Consortium has been working with Winchester City Council over many months and is now close to concluding the Section 106 legal agreement which secures funding towards the improvement of highways and the provision of new schools, community facilities and other public benefits.”

“These measures will mitigate the impact of this important new development which will deliver 3,500 much-needed new homes.”

However Highways England say there is no money committed to the junction 9 project at present.

A spokesperson for Highways England added: “We are looking to work with Hampshire County Council to see what funding streams are available, at this time all of our funding has been committed until 2020 so any other additional funding would need to be sourced elsewhere."

Councillor Mike Evans, chairman of Whiteley Town Council, is unhappy with the delays.

“The roads in the area need to be upgraded, we desperately need an answer from the government as to when they are going to allocate funding for junction 9 which is the key to signing the legal agreements with the city council,” he said.

“The housing construction has stalled because of this funding, now we urgently need to know when the Department for Transport will allocate this funding for the area.”

There is already concern from residents about traffic congestion to and from Whiteley Shopping Centre.

Councillor Woodward said that there was a danger the LEP's £14m funding could be lost if an agreement on motorway funding is not reached.

“This would be a huge shame as it is a real opportunity to complete the infrastructure before the housing,” he said