David versus Goliath battle over road

AN ANGRY homeowner whose cottage stands just yards from the busy A14 is taking on the Highways Agency with his own version of a £5 million improvement plan for one of the road's worst junctions.

By James Mortlock

AN ANGRY homeowner whose cottage stands just yards from the busy A14 is taking on the Highways Agency with his own version of a £5 million improvement plan for one of the road's worst junctions.

Robin Luff's ideas for the Rookery Crossroads at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, will be examined at a public inquiry scheduled for next week at the village's sports hall.

Mr Luff says the current proposals will knock 40% off the value of his house – Rose Cottage – by forcing him and his neighbours in nearby Chapmans Close to use the Rougham Industrial Estate as a permanent access route.


You may also want to watch:


Instead, he wants the Highways Agency to build an access road to the front of his property leading to one of the slip roads on the safer new road. But he has been told his plans are too expensive and the road is not included in the proposals put forward for the blackspot junction.

The project drawn up by the agency will involve building a bridge for the A14 to go over the minor U8005 and U6321 roads to replace the now closed crossroads which once saw five people killed in five months.

Most Read

The A14 would also be straightened at nearby Two Mile Spinney with the central reservation gap closed and the junction with the U8003 blocked off.

Mr Luff said: "I'm 110% behind the scheme – I'm just against the plans for our personal access. I don't want to be redirected forever through an industrial estate to get to my house."

He said his six neighbours – who would all be hit by the plans – were in favour of his alternative plan for the link road to the front of their homes.

Mr Luff, who has been using the industrial estate to get to his home for years expecting an alternative to be provided eventually, said he did not want to put the brakes on any improvement scheme.

"It's not my intention to delay it but I want the access route to go ahead. We have been offered compensation but it's pathetically low – an insult rather than a genuine offer," he added.

If the Highways Agency scheme wins the support of the public inquiry, which starts on Tuesday, the front access to Rose Cottage straight on to the A14, which Mr Luff says is too dangerous to use, would be sealed off for good.

During the hearing Mr Luff will put his ideas to the inquiry inspector James Coyne, who will hear representatives from the Highways Agency as well as local landowners, parish councils and other individuals who either support the proposals or have registered objections.

A spokesman for the agency said two people directly affected by the scheme had objected. A third objection came from a resident of nearby Great Barton claiming the improvements would create "rat runs" through surrounding villages.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus