Homes in line for demolition for Spalding Relief Road increased to nine

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Nine homes could be flattened to make way for a relief road route in Spalding instead of five, Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed.

The authority initially lined up plans to purchase and demolish five properties on Bourne Road for the central route of the £100 million project, under officer recommendations.

But, council officials have since admitted that the real number would be nine as there would be a “significant impact” on a further four homes “in close proximity”.

Campaigners had raised concern over an “undervaluation” of five homes on the road, which the council said would cost £1.25 million to purchase.

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at the council, said the number was based on “early estimates” and the authority could purchase all nine properties should senior councillors approve the plan

Visuals for the road design

“The £1.25 million figure in the options analysis report was based on early estimates for purchasing five properties on Bourne Road,” she said.

“However, because there would be a significant impact on all nine properties, all may need to be demolished. So if the executive decide to take this route forward, we would look to purchase all nine houses.

“Following our meetings with these owners, we are currently refining the recommendation being brought to the highways and transport scrutiny committee and executive to include their feedback.

“This includes assessing the cost of purchasing all nine properties if the recommended route is taken forward and updating the report to ensure executive has the most accurate information before making a decision early next year.”

The route recommended by Lincolnshire County Council for the central section of the Spalding Relief Road.

Spalding Pinchbeck Against Relief Road (SPARR) campaigners had argued that the route undervalued the properties and showed a “total lack of knowledge” about the homes.

It followed a reccomendation by the council to put the preferred route through Bourne Road.

Councillor Richard Davies, exeuctive councillor for highways, had said the process of picking the route was “not easy”.

A spokesperson for SPARR said: “We suggest that Councillor Davies should ask his officers to provide a realistic appraisal to include the compensation costs for the huge investments which owners have made in their forever homes.”

Protestors against the Spalding Western Relief Road’s central section outside South Holland District Council’s offices. Photo: supplied.

The group added that some residents have spent thousands on their homes, including adapting them for wheelchairs and old age.

Catherine Roberts and her husband Frank, homeowners on Bourne Road affected by the proposed route, said they have been “absolutely shell shocked” by the news.

The couple said they spent £300,000 to build the mock Tudor house 20 years ago and have been through the “summer of hell” this year.

“We are paying for our own demise. By paying for our council tax we are paying to demolish our own houses,” said Catherine.

Catherine and Frank Roberts outside their forever home on Bourne Road. Photo: Daniel Jaines

“I appreciate the council has a duty to find a cost-effective route, but there’s also a cost to human lives and the effect it’s going have on people.

“If the council treat us like this, they can treat anybody the same.”

The county council narrowed down the route from a list of eight options.

Officials said the preferred option through Bourne Road was the “best value for money” at £39 million.

Other routes considered included one through the Trojan Wood furniture company to the west of the site, which would cost £45 million, and a nearby allotment route at £50 million.

County councillors will discuss the proposed route at a highways scrutiny meeting on December 9 before a decision is made in January 2020.

The project will provide a new route around the west side of the town, linking Spalding Common in the south to Spalding Road/Pinchbeck Road in the north.

Lincolnshire County Council hopes to begin work on the road in Spring 2020.

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