A senior county councillor has insisted that Grantham’s southern relief road will still be built despite objections from public bodies after negotiations have been reopened.
Councillor Richard Davies, cabinet member for highways, said that he can “assure” residents of the town that the £81 million project will go ahead.
The relief road would look to link the A52 at Somerby Hill to the A1 which should reduce congestion in the town centre.
The second phase of the project will join the B1174 to the A1 via a grade-separated junction.
But objections have been lodged by Network Rail and other bodies against the scheme after the council granted permission for legal orders and land acquisitions in January.
It means a public inquiry could be held unless the county council can negotiate to have these objections dropped.
In a statement on his website, Councillor Davies said discussions have been reopened with the authorities.
“To avoid a time-consuming, and, in my opinion, entirely unnecessary public inquiry, we have entered into fresh negotiations in a bid to address their new concerns and prevent the scheme being delayed into 2019,” he said.
“These discussions have been positive for the most part and I’m hopeful that we can avoid the scheme’s being delayed into 2019.
“This is, of course, a frustrating experience for us, residents and businesses as well I’m sure, but it is unfortunately part and parcel of building a major piece of infrastructure like this.
“However, I can assure, the new road will ultimately be built.”
Councillor Davies previously said that Network Rail and other objectors had the local authority “over a barrel”.
If objections are withdrawn the enquiry will not go ahead.
Objections to the legal orders originally included:
- Network Rail – affected land, width size of the easement, details of CPO, access rights to new access track and potential additional easements
- Zurich – justification and use of compulsory purchase order
- Western Power Distribution – protection of interests in vicinity of the scheme
- Grantham Motor Company – site access, position of transporter layby and stopping up proposal
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