Public inquiry on Grantham relief road to go ahead in December
A public inquiry is to be held into the construction of the southern relief road in Grantham following a number of objections.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that the inquiry will begin on Tuesday, December 4, at Jubilee Church Life Centre in Grantham.
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: "In the end, we were successful in getting one of the five objections withdrawn – the one from a member of the public relating to environmental concerns.
"However, despite our best efforts, we haven't been able to reach agreements with Network Rail, Zurich, Grantham Motor Company and Western Power Distribution in time to avoid an inquiry.
"As a result, we'll be stating our case for Grantham's southern relief road starting on December 4."
The inquiry will last up to six days and will provide a 'robust scrutiny' of all aspects of the Grantham Southern Relief Road project, including hearing evidence from technical experts, supporters and objectors.
Coun Davies added: "We’d hoped a public inquiry wouldn’t be necessary, but here we are. The biggest problem with the situation is that none of what we're talking about doing is a surprise, particularly for Network Rail.
"I think everyone agrees that the relief road is an absolute necessity, and it's disappointing that a taxpayer-funded service can have such a detrimental effect on getting it built.
"Because we knew an inquiry was a very real possibility, in addition to negotiations with the objectors, the project team has been working tirelessly to prepare everything we need to reach a successful outcome during an inquiry.
"As a result, I'm confident that work on the rest of the relief road will start in early 2019."
The Grantham Southern Relief Road project is being led by Lincolnshire County Council and supported by South Kesteven District Council, Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Highways England, Homes and Communities Agency and local businesses.
The second of three stages of construction is due to go ahead next year to include a tunnel underneath the A1 as part of a new junction near Spittlegate Level.
For the latest news on the Grantham Southern Relief Road, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/majorprojects.