More than £6m has been allocated to Swindon to build a new bridge across the A419 dual carriageway.

The bridge will serve houses which will be built in the expansion of Kingsdown across the major road which would otherwise act as a barrier to residents.

The £6.5m in funding from Whitehall is part of the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund.

A spokesman for the ruling Conservative cabinet said the council is assessing an application for outline planning permission for 16,50 homes, and new school and the necessary infrastructure put in by Persimmon Homes.

The new bridge will be delivered by a partnership of the developers and Swindon Borough Council.

Responding to criticism by Labour's shadow Housing Secretary John Healey MP, who said the council should build more houses and specifically homes for social and affordable rent, when he visited earlier the week, the administration at Euclid Street said the funding would help.

The cabinet member for strategic planning Gary Sumner said: “We recognise that there is still more work to be done and we will continue to seek Government support and funding to increase the number of new affordable homes and to make sure that housing growth across Swindon is sustainable and inclusive.

"We are currently in receipt of applications to deliver over 5,000 homes with more than £110m of new infrastructure funding. This is a tremendous amount of money to spend on improving our town both for our current residents and ultimately to help attract future business and jobs growth”

A spokesman added that there is new council housing in Sussex Place in Walcot, Cranmore Avenue in Park South, Firethorn Close in Gorse Hill and Downton Road in Penhill and demolition has already started on a next major development of 149 homes on Queens Drive.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said: “We are committed to working together with ambitious councils and helping them deliver the homes this country so desperately needs. We are delighted to be supporting 94 infrastructure projects across the land which will kick-start property development. This is all part of our drive to build 300,000 homes each year, and ensure we have enough housing in areas where it is most needed.”

Housing is a major issue in the local elections in May - with the administration driving ahead with expansion plans, and The Labour opposition promising to build 1,000 council houses in the next five years