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Firm behind plan for village asked to fund link road
DEVELOPERS looking to build an 800-home ‘super village’ on Worcester’s outskirts are being asked to stump up millions towards the city’s northern relief link road.
A trio of politicians are lobbying the company behind plans for a major housing extension next to Dines Green to finally help solve Worcester’s congestion problems.
Hallam Land Management, based in Sheffield, wants to build a massive village off the A44 Bromyard Road including homes, a school, shopping centre, doctors’ surgery and business units.
A planning application for it has earmarked farm land in Lower Broadheath for the development, and talks are due to take place over what to do about congestion.
A campaign, led by St John’s councillors Richard Udall, Matthew Lamb and Chris Cawthorne calls for the company to pay towards the long-awaited northern orbital relief road in return for the green light.
The route, which would link Dines Green to Barbourne, has been talked about for over 20 years but has never been able to get underway due to the estimated costs of well over £100 million.
Your Worcester News can also reveal the developer has raised the stakes further by saying it is willing to “negotiate” over transport funding.
The trio of councillors say they do not expect Hallam Land Management to pay for the entire link road, but put something into the kitty to get a fund started.
Coun Udall said: “If you don’t ask you don’t get - we need to get this link road started and it’s vital we get a contribution in order to do that.
“We understand some development is likely to happen, but we are making our position clear - we have minimum conditions that we believe must be met before any permission is granted.
“Central to our concern is traffic. We believe the developer must contribute towards the cost of the completion of the ring road, and without it this scheme must be stopped.”
The trio have sent a letter to Malvern Hills District Council, which will have to decide upon the planning application, as part of the consultation period.
It also says they want better bus services and that 40 per cent of the homes must be affordable, both of which the developer has committed to.
A spokesman for the developer said: “This is something for us to discuss and negotiate with the county council. “We will be having internal discussions and we have left provision for it (a future link road) in the designs.”
THE NORTHERN RELIEF LINK ROAD
FOR at least 20 years, completing the ring road around Worcester has been viewed as essential for finally solving the city’s congestion problems.
As more and more cars have come into the city, it has become more pressing, but as of yet no funds have been found to build it.
Under a proposed route unveiled in 2010, a northern link road would run from the A449 Claines roundabout to the A44 Crown East island, with a new bridge crossing the River Severn near Bevere.
Worcestershire County Council has admitted it needs outside help from private developers for it to ever get off the ground, with the costs estimated at well over £100 million.
Last year calls were made to County Hall to lobby the Government and MPs over getting some funding, but the Tory leadership refused amid fears it could place other transport schemes in jeopardy.
The Department for Transport has already handed the council £14.2m towards easing congestion, which is already earmarked elsewhere, including the forthcoming Ketch island revamp in St Peter’s.
But bosses say the northern relief link road is still a future aim, and getting some cash from a developer could strengthen a case for Government funding.
Hallam Land Management wants permission for the development so it can sell the land to a house-builder.
In return for that it needs to finalise a financial payment with council chiefs for transport and community contributions, known as a Section 106 agreement.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, county council deputy leader and the cabinet member responsible for infrastructure, said: "It's very early days and I wouldn't want to speculate at this stage as to what the transport needs might be - it's something officers will be looking at."
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