The current planning applications for the first two sections of the Spalding Western Relief Road could be decided by central government after South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes urged they be ‘called in’.
He’s written to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, asking his government department decides on whether the two sections be built or not, taking the decision out of Lincolnshire County Council’s hands.
The planning applications refer to the most southerly and northerly sections of the proposed road from Pinchbeck Road/Spalding Road and from Spalding Common respectively.
Only current planning applications can be considered as part of the ‘Call In’ process which is usually reserved for decisions that could have significance over a wider area than just locally.
Sir John says he feels the two current applications would meet those criteria and the current lack of confirmed funding for the middle sections (for which there are no current planning applications) should be a considered if a ‘call in’ takes place.
He said: “I’ve written to the Secretary of State requesting their department look at this over concerns on the consultation process for the applications, considerable uncertainty over the middle section of the road being built.
“Not completing the middle parts would lead to added congestion rather than relieving it.
“I felt that meant there was extra significance and it is important enough to be decided by the Secretary of State.”
Sir John says he’s also mentioned the importance of the environment in his letter and the effect the relief road and surrounding developments would have on the area.
He also stressed: “I am not opposed to the principle of a relief road.
“Indeed, as in the past, I would support bids for funding a scheme on the basis it is going to be completed, ie has a middle section and that it is in a place the local people want it.”
Sir John said: “The principle is something I’ve always thought is a good idea if it links up with the A16 and takes traffic away from the town centre.
“This is about making sure the relief road has a realistic chance of achieving its objective.”