OBJECTIONS to the controversial relief road are not a case of ‘nimbyism’ says Stratford MP Zadhim Zahawi.
Mr Zahawi was among over 100 residents – including former Top Gear presenter and motoring journalist Quentin Willson – who attended an event organised by Stratford Residents Action Group (SRAG) to demonstrate the impact of the controversial South-Western Relief Road.
The campaigners had a scaffold built on the racecourse meadow to showcase the height of the proposed concrete flyover which would run across the Avon and Greenway cycle route.
Balloons were also put around the land at the level the road would run at.
The bridge would form part of a proposed two-mile road between Shipston Road near Orchard Hill Farm, and Luddington Road, put forward by developer Cala Homes.
The plans, which have been designed to relieve congestion, make up part of Stratford District Council’s Core Strategy – which shapes the future of the district until 2031.
But SRAG campaigners believe council officers rushed the decision to include the plans in the document, and have been exploring alternatives for the council to consider.
The demonstration seemed to have the desired effect on Mr Zahawi who concluded an alternative option was ‘preferable’.
He said: “The scale of the proposed relief road is obviously going to significantly impact on properties so if an alternative viable route is available which causes less harm, then that would be preferable.
“It was very interesting to learn that SRAG intends to put forward an alternative route for the relief road and I will look at these ideas with great interest.
“I have now visited the site a number of times and I know that local objections to the proposed road are not a case of nimbyism.”
“SRAG have made very clear that they are not anti-road and this is evidenced by their forthcoming alternative plans for an alternative route. It is right that these alternative plans should be made public to enable wider consideration.”
Following the event, SRAG chair Marion Homer said she hoped Mr Zahawi and councillors, would call for a ‘thorough examination’ of other options.
She added: “The purpose of the exercise was to inform as many people as possible about plans for a road that will have both major environmental impacts and significant financial consequences.
“This road is not a big wheel that can be dismantled after a few months so we must be sure this is the best solution, we cannot afford to make a mistake – once building starts this meadow will be gone forever.
“The planning application is expected anytime and we are hopeful that our event means many more people are now better informed.”
The scaffold tower and helium balloons were placed according to Cala’s £30million plans and also showed the proximity to residents’ homes.
The supporting archway would also reach to over 100 feet and protesters claim it would be seen from the RSC Tower.