Brandon Relief Road ‘more likely than ever’

Pictures from around Brandon.   The level crossing.
Pictures from around Brandon. The level crossing.
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A £20 million relief road for Brandon is ‘more likely now than ever before’ according to Suffolk’s roads boss.

A bypass to relieve pressure on the town’s High Street has been mooted for five years.

Squeezed transport funding means the project can only go ahead in conjunction with a scheme for 2,000 homes, with a consortium of local landowners - including the de Lotbiniere family - involved.

The road would start from the south west of the town, running to the north west and ending south of Weeting.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said all parties were now ‘pulling in the right direction’.

“We now have to push on with a planning application for the homes and wait for Government funding,” he said.

Stakeholders are hoping for money from the Government’s Pinch Point fund, designed to help projects that need a small grant to continue.

A number of other ‘crucial issues’ which have been delaying the project have now been resolved, according to Giles de Lotbiniere, from landowners, Brandon Hall Farm.

These include an agreement with Natural England over protection of the Special Protection Area to protect the stone curlew.

Mr de Lotbiniere said: “We’ve been working on this for five years and it seems like everyone is supportive now.

“We’re starting the process of putting in a planning application,” he said.

Negotiations with Network Rail over the building of a bridge to replace the level crossing in the High Street have also been positive, according to Mr de Lotbiniere.

Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, and James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, met with Brandon Town council last Friday to discuss the plans.

Reg Silvester, town council chairman, said it backed the scheme but that it had concerns the project would prioritise the housing development over the relief road.

“What we don’t want to end up with is a cul-de-sac rather than a bypass,” he said.