Enterprise zone junction set to be rubber-stamped

PROGRESS: The site of the enterprise zone near BAE Samlesbury
PROGRESS: The site of the enterprise zone near BAE Samlesbury
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Controversial plans for a new junction on the A59 at Samlesbury have been recommended for approval.

There had been calls for the planned junction to serve the new Lancashire Enterprise Zone to be moved further towards the junction of the A59 and the A677 near the former Swallow Hotel.

But a report to Lancashire County Council’s development control committee next Wednesday says the alternative is too costly and too disruptive.

Committee members had earlier agreed to defer a decision on the application after hearing from representatives of the Samlesbury Enterprise Park Action Group, and Coun Alan Schofield.

They complained that the proposed access road was too near the Mellor Brook roundabout.

The committee had been asked to consider whether a new alternative access could be created further west near the A59/A677 junction, or whether an access from the A677 should be created at the outset.

The Lancashire Enterprise Zone is being create on land adjacent to BAE’s Samlesbury site under an initiative by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership supported by BAE.

Work is due to start this year on the zone, which is intended to attract big-name companies wanting to take advantange of the great location and highly-trained local workforce.

The new signalled junction, which will be partly Government-funded, is necessary to take the extra traffic in and out of the new zone.

A report to the county development control committee said the proposed alternative access road had been rejected because of “cost, land use designation, ecology, landscape and visual amenity and land ownership.”

Officers noted that to obtain Government funding, the council had to demonstrate viability and value for money.

The alternative access road would have to be six times longer than the original scheme, to avoid Huntley Wood and other important areas.

The report noted: “It is considered that the proposed creation of a new signalised junction on the A59 and access road ... would have a lower cost, no effect on Green Belt land, no ecological iissues, reduced impacts on the local landscape and on visual amenity, no land ownership issues and less delay compared to a new access further west nearer the junction between the A59 and the A677.”

The plan is recommended for approval subject to conditions including noise, lighting etc.

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