The government is to be asked to decide whether a new multi-million pound road for Preston will go ahead.Advertisement
Construction firm Robertson Group has referred the Preston Western Distributor plans to the Secretary of State.
They say ‘flaws and procedural errors’ from the county council mean the proposals by the county council for the new link road have not been considered fully ahead of a meeting of Lancashire County Council’s development control committee on Thursday (14 November).
The final route for the road, which will connect the M55 from a new junction to the A583 at Riversway, must now be decided by Chris Grayling.
Amended proposals have also seen an additional roundabout put into the route at Bartle close to the Saddle Inn pub.
Read more: Three new major roads approved in the west of the city
The Western Distributor, which is 4.3km long, is expected to cost around £161million and construction is due to begin in the Autumn of 2019 – but this call-in could delay the project.
Robertson Group say the scale of the project means it should be classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project and be decided by Whitehall, not at County Hall. They say legal advice has meant they feel just having a planning application decided by the county council itself would be unlawful.
A spokesman from Tom Barron’s and Robertson Strategic Asset Management said: “The decision to submit an application for the revised Preston Western Distributor route marks the next big step in unlocking the economic potential of North West Preston.
“The delivery of the new road provides an opportunity to reduce congestion locally, whilst also providing an opening for the sustainable delivery of the new homes that are identified to be needed in the local area unfortunately we were forced to take the route of a development consent order application directly to the Secretary of State due to the procedural flaws within Lancashire County Councils choice of application.”
Read more: Watch route the Preston Western Distributor is due to take
The full proposals are due to be discussed by the county council’s development control committee on Thursday (14 November).
In February this year the county council began the compulsory purchase of land for the new road.
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