‘CLAIMS have been made ‘spiralling’ costs mean Stratford’s controversial relief road is set to overrun by £70million.
Stratford Resident’s Action Group (SRAG) says the South Western Relief Road was first budgeted at £30million which would be covered by developers building homes at nearby Long Marston.
But now the group claims the figure could be pushing the £100million mark – and the shortfall could be made up by taxpayers’ money.
The proposed two mile road has been been put forward by developer Cala Homes to relieve congestion. It makes up part of Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy, which shapes the future of the district until 2031.
If given the green light the road would run between Shipston Road near Orchard Hill Farm, and Luddington Road.
A spokeswoman for the group said: “It started life as a ‘free road’ as Cala would cover the costs in exchange for building 3,500 houses.
“Due to the extremely sensitive location of the route, its construction is difficult and requires a significant amount of elevation. Costs have spiralled, and budgets would now appear to be around the £100million mark.
“Cala cannot cover this amount so local authorities are requesting central government funds to build the road – the route of which has never been properly evaluated.
“Taxpayers should be outraged that their money is being used so frivolously. SRAG believe central government funds would be better channelled into a road that takes traffic out of Stratford and provides a solution capable of lasting decades not just a few years.”
Warwickshire County Council – which is responsible for highways – admitted it plans to put forward funding bids.
A spokeswoman said: “The cost of constructing the road will be established through the ongoing design process which is being carried out by Cala.
“The council submitted an expression of interest to government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the delivery of the relief road.
“The purpose of the funding stream is to help local authorities achieve large scale housing growth.
“The council has been invited to work with Homes England to develop the initial expression of interest into a full funding bid which will be the subject of a rigorous assessment process by government. If funding is allocated it will contribute to the overall cost of delivering the South Western Relief Road which is required to enable the Long Marston Airfield housing development to proceed, while also relieving traffic congestion within Stratford town.”