Broughton bypass land buy-up plans made public

Broughton Bypass Map
Broughton Bypass Map
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These are the sites council chiefs will buy up to make the Broughton Bypass a reality.

The map illustrates the areas covering 44 acres of land needed to construct the controversial bypass to the north of Preston.

Highways chiefs have drawn up the compulsory purchase orders to acquire the land and to alter existing roads and accesses.

They say all properties needed on the map are either owned by the council or they have reached an agreement with the owners over them.

One pocket of land being snapped up by the council is the car park at Broughton in Amounderness Church of England Primary School and St John Baptist Church – which is believed to be the oldest working building in Preston.

The school’s headteacher Jill Brennan said: “We are devastated about the bypass being built so close to the school.

“You wouldn’t be able to build a new school next to a bypass – it’s going to be a monster.

“We are very concerned for the health of the children.

“It’s devastating for our children and families.”

Mrs Brennan said the school would be objecting to the plans, through the Broughton Bypass Review Group.

Chris Couper from the group added: “We have been fighting this application for over 20 years. The greatest concerns that we have are air pollution, noise pollution and visual intrusion to such close proximity of the church and the school. We believe the ancient history associated with the village will be destroyed.”

Lancashire County Council was first granted permission for the new road in 2001. Consent was renewed in 2008, and a new five-year window to build the road began in November 2013.

The proposed £23.7m bypass is intended to reduce traffic in the centre of Broughton and improve journey times for drivers by creating a new route from the Broughton roundabout at junction 1 of the M55 and A6 north of the village.

The road is hoped to be open in 2017, with work starting in late 2015.

Martin Galloway, head of network management for Lancashire County Council, explained: “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.”

The council said it could not disclose how much money was being set aside to buy the land, because of “commercial reasons.”

Meanwhile, former city councillor Ken Hudson, who represented Preston Rural North until last month, says he thinks “people have got used to the idea that it’s going to happen.”

He added: “My stance has never really changed, I think there are better solutions.

“There is a number of people who are not delirious about it.

“I have not heard of anybody that’s said they are not going to accept the deal – that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t some.”

And Preston Rural East Coun Neil Cartwright said the bypass is “a reality this time.”

He said: “I have been supportive of the bypass since I first got involved in politics in the area.

“It’s not going to get any better in the village – options like the M55 and the Brock junction are not feasible.

“The only solution is to have the bypass.

“A lot of people had taken the view that it will never actually happen, it’s only with the City Deal and the last county council that kick started it.

“People have never really believed that it will happen.

“The funding is there, the intention is there – I think it is a reality this time.”

Meanwhile fellow ward councillor Tom Davies said: “The bypass needs to come in, the reason being the current situation with the air pollution, it is getting too extreme at Broughton with all standing traffic.

“It needs to go in, I know it’s not very nice to get a compulsory purchase order but they have known for some time, it’s just progress. It is definitely going to come off.”

Copies of the orders can be viewed at County Hall and Preston Town Hall.

Objections are likely to lead to a public inquiry by a government inspector.

View the full map here