Bypass bid cash to prove ‘good value’ for district tax payers

Giving £50,000 towards the case for a multi-million pound new road could turn out to be “very good business indeed” in the long-run, according to a community leader.

Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal, was responding to concerns that the council may have to open its chequebook again if the project proceeds.

John Fisher, independent councillor for Saxmundham ward, asked Mr Herring if he envisaged an “upper limit on the eventual total contribution from council tax payers to this project”

The county council has contributed £450,000 and Suffolk Coastal £50,000 towards the business case for the project to provide a bypass for Little Glemham, Marlesford, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew.

Mr Herring said the intention was to secure all future funding to take the project up to consent from the Government – probably £1.5million to £2m.

He said funding for construction would then come from a mix of sources with only 25% – £11m to £26m depending on the road option agreed – from local sources.

He said: “The local contribution will not be secured directly from council tax payers. It will be secured by funding received from the growth dividend that will be realised from the benefits of the road being in place.

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“That is part of the work that is being undertaken in developing the business case to evidence the potential economic benefits of the road and identify the funding.”

The new road would support a wide range of businesses, residents, the nuclear industry and tourism.

Mr Herring said: “Therefore if we can deliver the project with our partners, the outlay of £50k from this council will be seen to be very good business indeed.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to hopefully secure this much needed road improvement and I hope the council agrees with me that we should all get behind the project as this will help maximise the opportunities for growth in our district.”

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