FLAWED DECISION ON SOUTHERN LINK ROAD WILL NOT SOLVE CITY TRAFFIC PROBLEMS
At Planning Committee on Monday 6 June Herefordshire Council gave itself permission to build the controversial Hereford Southern Link Road, with the votes of all Tory committee members, supported by the two Independents and the sole Liberal Democrat.
The decision – which cabinet member Philip Price conceded in his speech to the meeting would be “tough for you” – goes against the requirements of the Department for Transport, conflicts with 18 core principles and policies of the National Planning Policy Framework, at least 8 policies in Herefordshire’s Core Strategy and the new Local Transport Plan which was adopted at Full Council less than 3 weeks ago. It also flies in the face of over 1,750 objections and serious concerns from numerous national bodies, local organisations, local Tory MP Jesse Norman, five parish councils, Herefordshire Council’s Conservation Officer and members of the public. There were only 9 representations of support.
So It’s Our County was hardly alone in not supporting this scheme!
Councillor Anthony Powers, group leader and a member of Planning Committee said:
“IOC is in favour of new infrastructure for necessary development which is sustainable, able to achieve what it claims, and is good value for money. This scheme fails on all three counts. The SLR trashes the countryside and provides no congestion relief whatsoever to the city – all at a cost to the taxpayer of over £27 million.
“There are sustainable solutions to the traffic problems in South Wye which can be delivered now, are easily affordable and comply with national and local policies. The council’s own data shows this costly and unnecessary new road will not solve any of the traffic problems in the city: it will simply shift some traffic from the Belmont Road to the Ross Road.”
“I can’t believe council officers would ever normally recommend approval for a planning application in conflict with so many national and local policies. This application is not only about a road, but about using public money to access council-owned land for housing development. Clearly this was a ‘political’ application, the council has clear interests in the outcome, and the matter should have been decided – as IOC and others have urged – at a properly independent Public Inquiry” he added.
Contact: Cllr Anthony Powers 07710 943313