Work on Lincoln’s long-awaited eastern bypass will begin in the next three or four months after the government gave the scheme the go-ahead.
The inquiry in August 2015 saw a Department for Transport inspector consider the cases for and against Compulsory Purchase (CPO) and Side Roads Orders that are needed for work on the bypass to proceed.
The single carriageway road costing an estimated £96 million will run from the roundabout at Wragby Road to a new roundabout at Sleaford Road on the A15.
The planning process proved controversial with many residents campaigning against the planned closure of Hawthorn Road.
The bypass also generated keen discussions from parish councils neighbouring the proposed bypass, with members of Cherry Willingham Parish Council describing the footbridge as “unsafe” at the inquiry.
Planning permission for the scheme was given by Lincolnshire County Council back in June 2013 but the DfT put the project on hold after concerns were raised about a junction connecting Hawthorn Road to a footbridge spanning the bypass.
The county council approved a revised design of the footbridge, leading to the second public inquiry in 2015.
Councillor Richard Davies said: “It’s great news for Lincoln and the wider Lincolnshire area that we’ve been granted the side roads order with no alterations.
“It’s been a long, drawn out process with its highs and lows but I’m glad that the inspector has approved the project and now we can crack on with building the road.
“The bypass will substantially reduce traffic from current hotspots like Canwick Hill and Pelham Bridge.
“It will also open up development opportunities as part of our growth agenda because for this to happen, we need highways infrastructure like this scheme in place.
“We expect the diggers to be on the site in May or June, and it will take a few years to complete, but the benefits to Lincoln and Greater Lincolnshire will be tremendous.”
A DfT spokesperson said: “We have approved Lincolnshire County Council’s plans for a new Lincoln Eastern Bypass after reviewing the findings of a planning inspector’s report following a public inquiry held last year.
“We look forward to working with the council as the project progresses.”