September 26, 2019 12.22 pm This story is over 53 months old

Campaigners threaten to take Spalding relief road decision to court

The county council hopes to start work next Spring

Campaigners could seek a judicial review over the £100 million Spalding relief road after the secretary of state refused to call-in the plans.

The Secretary of State said this week that he felt the applications for first two phases “should be determined by the local planning authority”.

Spalding Against Relief Road campaigners said they were “disappointed” by the decision, especially considering more than 250 objections to the plans and a “myriad of letters” hand delivered to the SoS by Sir John Hayes.

Campaign lead Stacy Barnevald-Taylor said: “We were hopeful that the SoS would at least put some ‘additional conditions’ on LCC to take a harder look at the environment/ecological issues that have been raised and the alignment and design of the road and bridge, and the community amenity that is so important to our town.”

Due to a lack of funding, the central section of the SWRR could take another 10 years to be built, and campaigners say this will lead to the northern and southern sections becoming cul-de-sacs and creating “crippling traffic”.

Ms Barneveld-Taylor remained sceptical over Lincolnshire County Council’s plans for the middle section of the road, which it was forced to revisit following criticism from residents who faced having their homes demolished.

Councillor Richard Davies was previously forced to apologise after residents were not notified their houses were on the two planned options.

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

The authority has said it is due to announce new options in the coming weeks, but campaigners have remained critical over a lack of consultation in regards to the changes.

“We are unsure if there will be, given LCC’s previous lack of transparency and inability to do their due diligence with informing and reaching out to the residents that will be most impacted by the construction of the road,” said Ms Barnevald-Taylor.

SPARR said it is considering looking into a judicial review and contacting the Ombudsman with regarrds to “how LCC and SHDC has not carried out their duties to inform and provide productive consultations with Spalding and Pinchbeck residents”.

Ms Barnavald-Taylor said campaigners would continue to fight the plans.

Assistant Director of Highways at LCC Karen Cassar said: “The next step will be to officially appoint a contractor to build the northern section, ahead of starting work next spring.”

Lincolnshire County Council expects the northern section will take 18 months to build.

Construction of the southern section is also hoped to be completed in 2022.

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