The ink is drying on agreements giving the green light for work to start on Bury St Edmunds’ long-awaited Eastern Relief Road.
After 18 months of complex negotiations the £15 million road, which will link the eastern side of Moreton hall with junction 45 of the A14, can now go ahead.
The relief road is needed to service the new Sybil Andrews Academy, due to open in September, as well as the Suffolk Business Park and around 500 homes.
The developments look to bring in hundreds of millions in investment to the area over the next 25 years and an estimated 14,000 jobs.
John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said after a long and ‘sometimes bumpy’ journey, he was delighted to see the deal signed.
He said: “This is a very major and welcome milestone in our longstanding ambition and determination to bring much needed jobs, housing, a school and community leisure facilities to West Suffolk.
“This is a road that will help deliver the Suffolk Business Park, and with it an estimated 14,000 jobs to the area, as well as £275m of inward investment to the local area over the next 25 years.
“It is a road that will enable the building of 500 new homes, giving more people the chance to remain in the communities where they grew up, and helping to meet just some of the ever increasing demand for local housing.
“The road will of course also enable Suffolk County Council to complete work on its new school, not only helping meet local education needs, but also delivering community leisure facilities available for public use outside of school hours.
“We, and others, have invested a great deal of time and money in this project.
“It has been a long – and sometimes bumpy – journey, but I’m absolutely delighted that the end is now in sight.
“I would like to thank the many people and organisations who have helped to get us where we are on this and much look forward to the road’s completion.”
Suffolk County Council Leader, Cllr Colin Noble said: “This has been an extremely complex series of negotiations and has required commitment and investment from the local authorities, government and most importantly from the private sector.”
Stephen Clark, managing director of the Churchmanor Estates Company - the agent for the Rougham Estate, added that they are ‘pleased to have played their part’ by gifting 25 acres of land to the county council for the road and providing finance for its construction alongside the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which invested £10 million in the road with the county council and borough council meeting the remainder of the cost.