The County Council’s consultation on the proposed distributor road is underway and runs to 15 October.
Residents, landowners and businesses have the chance to provide feedback on the preferred route and comment on key features such as the proposed roundabouts and junctions.
Melton Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Leigh Higgins said:
“There has been considerable interest already in this proposal and the exhibitions held at Melton on Friday and Saturday were well attended, with many people wanting to find out more about what is happening. If you do have comments, please respond to the consultation - the more interest and feedback provided, the stronger the case that can be made for funding. This presents the best chance so far which, as a community, we've long known about while securing future prosperity in terms of jobs and cutting congestion.
It is in all our interests to make the case. We would urge residents to visit the website and record their views at: Distributor road feedback
Traffic studies show that the town centres network is close to capacity. The studies also show that Melton cannot cope with the levels of road traffic created by its residents, business and through traffic travelling to other destinations. There is also significant congestion at key junctions in town. The studies show that only a major investment in the road system will alleviate these issues and allow the future growth of Melton Mowbray as a whole.
As far as central government funding goes, Melton Borough Council are working closely with Leicestershire County Council to put forward a strong business case for the development. In July 2016, up to £2.8 million was awarded by Government to complete the initial design work and obtain overall approval for a Melton distributor road. This money, which was the result of a joint bid submitted by both Councils to the Department for Transport (Dft), was a major first step in obtaining funding for the whole scheme, which is expected to cost in excess of £50-£100 million, if approved.
Developers of proposed future housing sites to the north and south of the town are also involved in the developing the business case for the road, as it is needed in order to access new developments and ensure they do not exacerbate congestion. Melton BC is in detailed discussions with several developers regarding their contributions, whether that would be them physically building parts of the road or making financial contributions if it does not cross their land. Approximately five million has already been secured from a major housing proposal off Leicester Rd.
In December, the final recommended route will be presented to Leicestershire County Council cabinet to seek approval of the preferred route. If approved, there will be more information gathered to submit a planning application in spring 2018. Further chances to comment on the route will be made available during this process and should the scheme be approved and funding secured, work could begin on the road in 2020. The Councils' are working hard to align the efforts of the various stakeholders involved and the funding required to ensure what is delivered maximises the benefits and minimises disruption. It should however be noted that some new house building will be required before certain parts of the funding are released and the road starts.
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