The Bury St Edmunds relief road saga took another twist this week as the council worked to break a stalemate to purchase a vital piece of land.
As St Edmundsbury Borough Council considers making a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to buy the 21 hectare site owned by The Rougham Estate - it also emerged the relief road could now be built in phases.
Bosses at the authority say they are looking to take action after negotiations ‘stalled’ between Rougham Estate’s agent Churchmanor Estates Company and developer Taylor Wimpey, which is looking to build 500 homes on the Moreton Hall estate.
As well as serving the new homes, the relief road, connecting Skyliner Way to junction 45 of the A14, is needed for a new secondary school due to open next September as well as the expansion of Suffolk Business Park, which council bosses say could create up to 15,000 jobs.
Last year the council said the construction of the road would start this September and the whole project would take a year to complete.
However, they now say it is ‘possible the road could be built in phases’.
The CPO will cost the authority either £10,000 if uncontested or £50,000 contested which will be recovered from the development.
It is considering options as to how the acquisition costs will be covered.
The decision to pursue the CPO will be considered by the authority’s cabinet on Tuesday and full council on March 25.
A spokesman said: “Once officers have the backing of the full council, it will take around another month of preparation work before we formally start the CPO application process. In parallel to that we will continue to try to negotiate with the landowners. It is possible that the road could be built in phases. The land to the new school is in the ownership of Taylor Wimpey and could be built first.”
A statement from Churchmanor and the Rougham Estate said they are ‘continuing to work with all stakeholders to process the delivery of the road as quickly as possible with the hope that work can start in late summer this year’.
On the CPO plans, they said they ‘would hope that such powers will not be required given the current progress but nevertheless recognise it is a precuation’ the council needs to take.