A12 bypass objectors send evidence of ‘flaws’ to Department for Transport
Campaigners seeking to halt a £133m Suffolk bypass have sent objections to the government urging it to withhold approval.
The By Pass Action Group (BPAG) said its lawyers had written to the Department for Transport (DfT) presenting evidence which it claims shows the bid for the four villages A12 bypass was “unlawful”. The letter also alleges that Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) business case for the bypass, also known as the Suffolk Energy Gateway, is flawed “in a number of significant ways”.
SCC submitted the business case to the DfT in December, highlighting the economic benefits the road would be expected to bring.
It was celebrated in the villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, where there have been calls for a bypass for more than 20 years. People living in the affected villages say that stretch of the A12 has become dangerous and will worsen during the possible construction of Sizewell C when it would be used to transport construction materials. Villagers have also complained of health risks posed by the high levels of pollution, which led to the creation of an Air Quality Management Area in Stratford.
However BPAG, which formed last year in opposition to the bypass proposals, has claimed the road is a “massive waste of money” which would harm the environment and pave the way for hundreds of new homes.
The group’s lawyers have been investigating the bid and claim to have found evidence of serious flaws.
Last month, the group wrote to SCC claiming that with no written record of the process that led the business case’s submission, the decision was unconstitutional. The legal team asked SCC to take the decision again to avoid facing judicial review.
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In a message to its members, BPAG said this week: “We are now in a period of waiting. Once we have responses from both the DfT and SCC we can decide on what to do next. In the meantime our lawyers will be evaluating what avenues are open to us, including the possibility of legal action.”
However, SCC says it is confident it acted correctly.
An SCC spokesman said: “We take any legal challenge extremely seriously and we are in the process of responding to the concerns raised. We do have a degree of confidence in our position at this point.”