CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for the South Western Relief Road (SWRR) have written to councillors demanding the project be ditched once and for all.
The controversial £130million road – which was initially costed at £30million – would run from near Orchard Hill Farm on Shipston Road to Luddington Road, close to the racecourse, and include a flyover.
But Stratford Residents Action Group (SRAG) has long campaigned about the impact of the relief road – which is linked to Cala Homes’ 3,500 home garden village development – on existing surrounding roads and the environment, as well as its effectiveness in tackling traffic congestion.
SRAG has emailed all members on Stratford District Council (SDC) – and a similar email to all on Stratford Town Council appealing for support – calling for the SWRR application to be removed and highlighting how it was incompatible with the authority’s declared ‘climate emergency’
In the email SRAG said: “The impact of the development and the route of the road, through an area of green space, will affect both locals and tourists alike. Stratford Residents Action Group are hoping that SDC will now withdraw this application, which has been demonstrated to be untenable by many organisations.
“The SWRR planning application received well over 1,000 objections, many from local residents concerned that an area of ‘green space’ would be destroyed if this application went through. During lockdown the value of this area had been proven day after day as families have used it for their daily exercise.
“And yet, despite there being no funding for this road, and the fact that large statutory bodies such as the Environment Agency and the Highways Agency cast doubt over the viability of the route, not to mention significant local opposition this application not only remains on SDC’s books but has had its determination date extended…How can this be?
“Surely now is the time to say ‘enough is enough’? – the community need certainty – they need to know their concerns over traffic congestion are properly considered and that this beautiful health giving ‘green space’ is preserved for future generations.”
SDC deputy leader Coun Daren Pemberton said: the decision to withdraw any planning application rested with the applicant not the district council .
“SRAG has called for something this Council and its members just cannot do. SWRR and the Garden Village remain key planks of the Core Strategy in delivering both the homes and infrastructure our whole district needs.
“The application has not been withdrawn. Unless or until the applicant indicates otherwise the district council is obliged to deal with the SWRR application in the same way it would for any other and will continue to do so. The funding of SWRR is an entirely separate issue and is not grounds for refusing to consider a properly submitted planning application
“Warwickshire County Council’s bid for funding to support the construction of SWRR was unsuccessful. Homes England has, however, indicated that there may be further national funding rounds, particularly, to support the post Covid-19 economic recovery where Warwickshire County Council and the Developer may be able to submit a new bid for financial support for SWRR.”