Lancashire County Council chiefs have set aside a cash pot of almost £5m for land and property needed for the Broughton Bypass.
This week the Evening Post revealed that Lancashire County Council has begun a 40-acre land grab to make way for the controversial road.
Now figures released through Freedom of Information Laws to a member of the public show the council has budgeted for £4,831,236 for the compulsory purchase orders and other aspects relating to land and property for the bypass.
It comes days after County Hall said the figure couldn’t be provided because of “commercial reasons”.
Homeowners, farmers, a church and a school are all affected as planners try to clear the way for a £23.7m new road to rid Lancashire of one of its worst traffic bottlenecks.
It is understood the figure was calculated by the council for budgeting purposes, but in responding to the Freedom of Information request the council said the figure should not be considered to represent a sum available to be dispersed amongst potential claimants.
Martin Galloway, head of network management for Lancashire County Council, said: “For budgeting purposes we have estimated £4,831,236 to be needed for a number of aspects relating to land and property for the bypass.
“It includes houses which have already been acquired since the mid-1990s, rights of access needed to construct the road and install drainage, possible claims under the Land Compensation Act following construction, as well as compensation and fees for land to be acquired under the CPO order.”
Earlier this week Mr Galloway said: “We have acquired or reached agreement on the purchase of all of the houses needed to construct the bypass.
“In total, the land needed for the bypass covers around 18 hectares of land whose current use is predominantly agricultural, and the compulsory purchase order (CPO) covers 17 hectares which we still need to acquire to build the road.
“We are already in negotiation with all landowners or their agents and will make best endeavours to reach agreement in advance of the CPO order wherever possible.”
Opponents of the plan have been given until July 11 to lodge objections with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who could then order a public inquiry.
Copies of the orders and of the relevant plans can be viewed at the following locations:
• Lancashire County Council, Pitt Street, Preston,
• Preston Council, Town Hall, Preston,
• Fulwood Library, 294 Garstang Road, Preston