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Admin blunder delays Grantham relief road inquiry

The public inquiry into Grantham's Southern Relief Road has been delayed until the New Year due to an administrative blunder.

The inquiry into the £81million A52 bypass was meant to start at 10am today, but now proceedings won't start until January 2 at the earliest.

Initially, government planning inspector Martin Whitehead halted proceedings at the Jubilee Centre in Grantham for half an hour due to what he called an "administrative query."

He returned around 10.30am to say he had been talking to representatives of Lincolnshire County Council, who are building the road, and Western Power Distribution, the "main, remaining objector."

Mr Whitehead said he had been led to believe that aspects of the Compulsory Purchase Order legislation and Highways Acts haven't been complied with.

"Notices on the inquiry should have been posted along the route of the land affected by the Compulsory Purchase Order."

"I have been informed by (the Lincolnshire County Council representative) this hasn't happened. This inquiry has to be postponed for two weeks to allow for that advertisement."

Mr Whitehead then called on both parties to let him know by Thursday of an available time when they could attend a public inquiry, telling those present he was available to start it on January 2.

He then told those present that whilst he was in Grantham today, he might as well use that time to undertake a site visit of the route to familiarise himself with it.

Apologising for the delay, he added: "It's beyond our control."

Fresh notices and adverts will be place on the county council website, along the route and in the press to advertise a new date for the inquiry.

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