February 21, 2019 12.49 pm This story is over 60 months old

“You’ll have to tow me out with a bulldozer”: Spalding homeowners face roads bosses

A public meeting has been held to address concerns

A resident who lives on a proposed route for the Spalding Western Relief Road has said the council will have to “tow [him] out with a chain and a bulldozer,” if plans go ahead.

Richard Holland, who lives on the proposed “yellow route” for the centre section of the £100 million project, said: “I don’t want it, I’ve been in that house 21 years, there’s memories. I’ve spent a lot of money on it and invested in it.

“I’ve bought my family up in there, I’ve got three children. It might sound pathetic but I’ve got family pets buried in the garden. There’s lots of things.

“I’m stopping where I am, they can tow me out with a chain and a bulldozer for all I care.”

Residents at the meeting. Photo: Daniel Jaines

His comments followed a meeting on the road held in Pode Hall which left residents unconvinced about the future.

The aim of the Spalding Western Relief Road is to provide a new route around the west side of the town.

It is currently undergoing consultation on two routes which will form the middle section of the road.

However, both routes show the road going through residential properties on Bourne Road, along with South Drove, Horseshoe Road and Pinchbeck Road.

Some of the houses the route could go through. Photo: Daniel Jaines

At a meeting in Pode Hole organised by Lincolnshire County Councillor Angela Newton, highways executive Richard Davies faced the public’s concerns including a lack of consultation, a change in the route from one originally planned in 2014 and property prices.

He again apologised for a lack of direct contact with those affected but told residents major roads such as this often took a long time.

He added: “We are years if not longer from anything happening.” 

He said compulsory purchase orders were “very much a last resort”.

Residents at the meeting. Photo: Daniel Jaines

The route had changed due to South Holland District Council’s emerging local plan which had laid out the “safeguarded corridor” for the road, said Councillor Davies, urging residents to give their feedback.

Residents however, were unimpressed by the lack of clarity over the plans, with many urging the council to look again at the route.

Councillor Davies said: “That’s where we will get to, that process.

“We will agree a route and then people who are concerned will be contacted. We are right at the beginning of that conversation.”

He said it was hoped a decision would be made later this year and that other routes would be considered.

Residents were left frustrated however, that no-one from planning or housing was available to answer questions.

The proposed £100 million Spalding Relief Road. Picture: Lincolnshire County Council.

Don Churchman, 85, has lived in his property for 16 years and recently spent thousands upgrading windows and clearing trees.

In 2017 he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, but has since been cleared.

“I’m distraught, I’m in my 80s. I don’t need this aggravation at my age.

“I reckon it’ll be the end of me if I have to go around and find someone else. All of the equipment I’ve got.

“I’m very, very stressed about it. At my age you don’t need this. I’d have probably coped around 10-20 year ago but not now. Especially after all I’ve been through I came here for the quiet life you know?”

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at the county council, addresses residents affected by the Spalding Relief Road at a meeting at Bromley Hall in Pode Hole, near Spalding. Picture: Daniel Jaines.

Catherine Roberts, whose £300,000 “forever home” could be under threat said the only positive was knowing a decision would be made within the year.

She said: “I still feel in limbo, to me to know the decision of where the route is going to be is quite important because then we can psychologically prepare ourselves for that decision.

“I didn’t feel the idea of the business premises along the road to be utilised was taken seriously.”

Councillor Angela Newton, who organised the meeting will be looking to hold another in the future where it is hoped someone from South Holland District Council’s planning will be able to attend.

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