January 7, 2020 4.00 pm This story is over 22 months old

Homes saved from demolition in Spalding road decision

Residents are relieved

Senior councillors at Lincolnshire County Council have saved nine Spalding homes from being demolished as part of a major new road.

The authority’s executive committee agreed for the Spalding Western Relief Road plans to go ahead, however, they agreed with scrutiny councillors that a route through a local business known as Trojan Woods would be the best option.

Officers had previously suggested a central route through Bourne Road that would have seen nine homes demolished. They said it would be cheaper and more efficient.

The final route is estimated to cost an extra £2.2 million.

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

Catherine and Frank Roberts, whose “forever home” was one of those under threat, said they were “greatly relieved” by the decision.

Frank said it had “been terrible” over the past few months.

“We’ve been living in limbo quite honestly, and it got worse and worse. I felt sick [in the committee room] to be truthful. In case, they went against us but we’re very lucky that hasn’t happened.”

Catherine added: “There’s been a lack of information and, to an extent until recently, a lack of compassion for our situation.

Happy campaigners at a scrutiny meeting which sided with them prior to Christmas. Photo: Daniel Jaines

“Nobody seemed to understand that losing your house that you work for all your life is a major concern to you and very, very upsetting and stressful.”

The move will, however, mean that a planned junction will have to cut into some residents’ gardens, and the authority will have to work with Trojan Woods on how they can help replace some of the lost business.

Portfolio holder for highways Councillor Richard Davies welcomed the “compromise” and would help get the process done as quickly as possible.

“People want surety about when and what’s going to happen to their houses and I think we can now give that to people because a lot of people were very concerned, running up to the scrutiny committee last year, that the houses were going to be affected.”

The route recommended by Lincolnshire County Council officers and turned down by councillors for the central section of the Spalding Relief Road.

He apologised again for issues last February which meant residents had not been informed of the plans but said the county was now in better relations with them – with some even sending him Christmas cards this year.

“The fact that the politicians who eventually make the decision on this have listened to what the highways officers have said is the technical approach and what they consider the best value to money, but have also taken on board a lot of feedback from residents, I think that shows that the process has worked”

Works will now take place to finalise the designs for the central section of the road. The northern and southern sections have already been approved in planning and work is expected to start later this year.

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