THE future of a £1billion regeneration scheme hangs in the balance after the withdrawal £75million funding over delays.

Homes England warned it was set to withdraw housing infrastructure funding from the Purfleet regeneration scheme after delays caused by the council’s inability to find further investors for the ambitious project.

The council has now voluntarily agreed to terminate the funding agreement to avoid having to pay back the £25million funding it has already spent.

Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited was to deliver more than 2,650 new homes around a new town centre, including a new primary school and integrated medical centre. To date, the council says it is probable that only 34 homes will be completed by the end December 2023.

It was planned to replace the existing station in Purfleet-on-Thames, with a new one, accessed by a footbridge.

A media and film village also once formed part of the scheme.

Lee Watson, Labour councillor for West Thurrock, South Stifford and Purfleet-on-Thames, said: “I am very disappointment with the termination of the Housing Infrastructure Fund Grant Determination Agreement as the residents of Purfleet on Thames very much need the refurbishment of the station and the surrounding area that this was contributing towards.

“I hope that the council can enter some sort of negotiation with Homes for England to try to come up with a Plan B for Purfleet on Thames and not to leave it with a half-baked development.”

A report to councillors who are due to discuss the development tonight (Thursday) at an extraordinary meeting of the planning, transport and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee said: “The council is concerned that the there is a material risk that the development milestones as set out in the Grant Determination Agreement cannot be achieved.

“Given the prolonged and continued default position there is a real possibility that Homes England will withdraw funding and commence legal proceeding against the council to claw back grant expenditure to date.”

The report adds: “It is recommended that the council agree to mutually withdrawal, with Homes England. This effectively terminates the Purfleet Housing Infrastructure Fund Determination Agreement with Homes England and the agreement with Purfleet Centre Regeneration Limited. “Homes England have confirmed in writing that it will not demand or seek repayment of any funding in connection with the Funding Agreement. This is subject to the council agreeing to the mutual withdrawal.”