A potential u-turn by Lincolnshire County Council could see a factory demolished instead of homes for the route of the Spalding Western Relief Road.
Last October, affected Bourne Road residents were sent letters stating their homes could face demolition due to them being along the county council’s preferred route for the road.
Though a council statement last week states that remains the authority’s preferred option a report that will be discussed by its Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee next Monday now says compulsary purchasing the Trojan Wood site is also “feasable”.
The report by the council’s executive director for place, Andy Gutherson, states: “Option 4 (the factory option) is likely to be the least contentious route providing that commercial engagement is successfully progressed, following the early provisional route options discussions with the ‘Trojan Wood’ owners.
“This route does not require the loss of residential properties and would bring into development the same amount of new housing as Route Option 3 (the homes route).
“In net terms, therefore, it has less effect on the availability of housing in the town than Option 3.
“This route carries greater risk of delivery than option 3.
“In particular the fact that it is not within the safeguarded corridor means it carries planning risk which may be capable of being mitigated in future versions of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan although this cannot be guaranteed.
“This option may, as a result, pose difficulties in justifying this route over route option 3 through the legal orders process.
“As stated above Routes 3 and 4 both score closely, albeit with different benefits and drawbacks.
“Ultimately both are feasible in facilitating a scheme which meets the overall SWRR objectives.”
That’s in contrast to the County Council’s announcement on October 14 that the officer’s reccomendation for the route had been identified as over five Bourne Road houses, though it was later revealled up to nine could make way.
At the time Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “The evidence within the study shows that the other options would all cost more to build than the recommended route, in addition to the land for the ‘allotment route’ already being allocated within the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan. Those are clearly very important things for us to consider in reaching our decision.”
The assesment report states that the Trojan Woods route would cost an estimated £2.24m more than the previously proposed route at a total cost of £42.99m.
The report states that the route on the factory site would possibly effect the frontages of two domestic properties and another commercial building.
Father-of-three Richard Holland has lived on Bourne Road with wife Tracy for 21 years and is one of those who faced having his home demolished.
When told of the new report, he said: “It gives us hope.
“We had a letter through the door last week which was just full of stuff you couldn’t understand.
“It would be wonderful to have a letter sent to us just before Christmas to say they’re not going though with bulldozing our homes.
“It would just make my Christmas.
“We’ve had so much stress because of this and have built our homes and gardens up over the years.
“I don’t understand why they wouldn’t spend £2.2 million to not have to bulldoze our homes.”
Planning permission has already been granted for the most northerly and southern sections of the relief road with the meeting set to discuss the route of the three central sections, which are yet to be fully funded.
Following the Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee recommendations over the route of the report will be sent to Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive on January 7.