July 22, 2019 5.00 pm This story is over 57 months old

Secretary of State will have final say on Spalding relief road plans

The public have written to Government requesting the decision be “called in”

The Secretary of State could have the final say on plans for two sections of the planned £100million Spalding Western Relief Road after people asked him to call it in.

Lincolnshire County Council will next Monday consider the northern and southern sections of the road, which have been recommended for approval.

They go from the B1172 Spalding Common into a new Holland Park Sustainable Urban Extension being build 1.2km away and from the B1356 Spalding Road running parallel for 1km along Vernatt’s Drain.

Both plans include new roundabouts and bridges.

A report before councillors, however, says members of the public have asked the Secretary of State (SoS) to call in the decisions.

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

“In exercise of his powers… the SoS has therefore issued a ‘holding direction’ which directs that the county council may not grant permission on these applications without specific authorisation from him,” says the report.

“This direction has been issued to allow the SoS further time to consider the applications and to determine whether they should be referred to him for final determination.”

The county council can still grant the application as recommended, however,  this will not come into effect until the Secretary of State authorises it.

When complete, the relief road will link Spalding common in the south with Spalding Road/Pinchbeck Road in the north via the west side of the town.

The council officer’s report says: “I am satisfied that the principle of both sections… reflects the aspirations and objectives of the [local plan] and would help to improve the safety and function of the highway network and facilitate in the delivery of wider economic and social benefits in and around Spalding.”

Campaigners wore SPARR banners in a recent South Holland District Council meeting. Photo: Daniel Jaines

In May, South Holland District Council offered no objections to the plans, despite opposition from campaigners and councillors who said the two sections would effectively create cul-de-sacs which would “cripple” traffic for the next ten years.

The central section of the project caused controversy back in February when the county council was forced to apologise for failing to notify residents who live in direct route of the road.

People said they had been “left in limbo” by the project, while one resident said the council would have to “tow him out with a chain and a bulldozer”if plans go ahead.

The council later revealed it was looking at alternative routes to be decided at the end of summer.\

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