7th Dec, 2016

'Great danger' south western relief road will change area forever

Stratford Editorial 16th Jul, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ANGRY residents made their thoughts clear this week about a potential relief road through Stratford.

Ahead of Monday’s Stratford District Council meeting, which saw the long-term housing strategy approved, Stratford Residents Action Group (SRAG) rallied outside the council’s Elizabeth House headquarters to voice their opposition against the South Western Relief Road, which is included in the Core Strategy.

The two mile stretch of road, complete with a flyover across the Greenway and the Avon, is earmarked to run from the Shipston Road to Evesham Road near the racecourse. It is aimed at relieving traffic congestion in the town.

But residents claim Long Marston developers Cala Homes ‘dangled the carrot’ of a relief road in front of the council, and argue the road was included in the Core Strategy without proper consultation or consideration.

But the council contends it has ‘ticked all the boxes’ by complying legally and properly with their duties to consult about the plans.

Coun Molly Giles – whose ward includes part of Luddington, which will most affected by the planned road – argued the long term impact the road would have on residents.

She said: “In endorsing this strategy, we’re likely to see come forward a bypass which cuts across some of the most sensitive space in our district which is at the moment enjoyed by people from all over the world.

“It will forever change the peace and tranquility of this stretch of the river and this is before we talk about the impact of residents who have worked and saved hard to live in a place of its current character.

“Some of them will find a bypass within 100 and even 40 meters from their homes.

“We must scrutinize what has gone on here – it took me ten months to understand and become properly aware of the significance of this road.

“We are in great danger of this road not seeking to achieve what we all want it to achieve.”

The council has already acknowledged SRAG’s concerns re noise, air and light pollution and has promised to consult fully going foward.

The council has also said the design of the planned road would need to take into account a number of issues, including flood risk, ecological mitigation and management, and impact on the character of the landscape’.