September 19 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 8, 2014
Revised plans for an “important” new road at Bury St Edmunds which will unlock thousands of jobs, a new high school and a new home for a football club have been rubber stamped.
Applicant The Churchmanor Estates Company had submitted a new route for the Eastern Relief Road (ERR) - which will link Moreton Hall with the A14 at junction 45 - to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
Yesterday, the borough council’s development control committee approved the revised plans - which see the route run further north to avoid a privately-owned track, Woodlands Road.
A number of businesses on the Rougham Industrial Trading Estate had objected to the revised plans, as had the Rougham Industrial Traders Association Ltd (RITA), owners of all privately-owned roads within the estate.
Speaking at the meeting, highways consultant Gordon Kruse, who has been advising RITA, stressed their concerns over the latest proposal, including inadequate forward visibility when travelling towards roundabout D, that cyclists would have to dismount from the cycleway/footway at the head of Woodlands Road and that vehicles may cut through the industrial estate as it was a shorter route.
Malcolm Honour, on behalf of the applicant, said his clients had taken advice from experts who agreed the scheme was “safe and acceptable”.
Some councillors considered this to be a compromised scheme, but following a lengthy discussion councillor Stefan Oliver said the disagreements over the new plans were a “complete storm in a teacup”.
Planning officer Peter White said: “I feel it does need to be impressed upon you the importance of this road.
“The funding for the road, as you know, is now in place. It’s been something this council has been seeking to achieve for a great deal of time and as officers we feel we are very close to doing that, but I would certainly not be bringing forward in front of you today a road that was unsafe or unacceptable simply because we were close to implementation.
“The link road, or relief road as some people call it, is a vital piece of infrastructure for the town.”
Mr White said Suffolk County Council - the highways authority - had said they were satisfied with the proposal and felt it was “safe”.
The new road would pave the way for the expansion of Suffolk Business Park onto 68 hectares of land and could create up to 15,000 new jobs, as well as allowing the proposed masterplan for Moreton Hall to take place, which includes 500 new homes, a secondary school, retail centre and a new home for Bury Town Football Club.
After the meeting Hugh Godfrey, director of RITA, said: “We shall consider the decision and take advice as to whether or not further action is appropriate.”
The previous application for the road was approved earlier this year.