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7th Jul, 2022

Controversial relief road plans continue to drag on

CRITICS fear controversial relief road plans in Stratford will continue to drag on as the developer remains silent over an avalanche of objections.

Cala Homes has not yet responded to over 1,000 objections to plans for the South Western Relief Road, which would run from near Orchard Hill Farm on Shipston Road to Luddington Road close to the racecourse.

The two-mile road aims to ease traffic congestion created by new housing developments, including the Long Marston Airfield Garden Village scheme of 3,100 homes.

But the £130million plans – which include a flyover across the Greenway and the River Avon – have remained fiercely unpopular with residents, councillors and the Environment Agency, who all fear it would be a blot on the landscape, impact the natural flood plain, destroy wildlife habitat, and increase pollution and noise.

Campaign group Stratford Residents Action Group instead wants to see a ring road built around the town.

A decision date to determine the plans – whose costs earlier this year had rocketed from £30million to £130million – was pushed back from December to this September following the slew of objections.

But the decision date could be pushed back again as a Cala spokesperson revealed a document addressing concerns would not be submitted until the autumn.

SRAG manager Marion Homer said: “SRAG aren’t at all surprised to learn that Cala are delayed in submitting their response to the objections generated by their planning application. As we know, over 1,200 local residents voiced objections and significant concerns have been raised by the Environmental Agency over flood risk, and the Highways Agency over the viability of the so called South Western Relief Road.

“Meanwhile, our councillors appear to be no closer to resolving our horrendous traffic congestion. It is evident that the SWRR is utterly flawed and we would hope, now the elections are over and they are settled in office, that they could provide some effective leadership to offer a long term viable solution.”

Despite the fierce opposition, in March Warwickshire County Council (WCC) put forward a government funding bid for an extra £86million towards the cost of the road. Cala has pledged to fund the remaining £44million.

An answer to the funding bid is expected this summer.

* SRAG is holding its AGM at Stratford Girls Grammar School on Tuesday July 9, 7.30pm. An update on the campaign will be provided and guest speaker Peter Wharton, of Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants, will talk about the economic value of trees and green spaces.

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