Step forward for major roads project in Notts

Plans for major roadworks in Nottinghamshire have moved a step closer after councillors agreed to compuslory purchase orders – despite some concern over costs.
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There are proposals for improvement works to six junctions along the A614, including the notorious Ollerton roundabout, at a cost of £28.6 million.

Members of Nottinghamshire Council’s economic development and asset management committee have voted in favour of a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire land for the project – but some raised concerns that the Department for Transport’s contribution of £24.3m is ‘only provisional at this stage’.

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The work is intended to ‘increase traffic capacity so both future residential and employment traffic can be accommodated while also reducing journey time delays’.

Ollerton roundabout is in line for a major upgrade.Ollerton roundabout is in line for a major upgrade.
Ollerton roundabout is in line for a major upgrade.

It is also hoped to provide ‘real economic momentum’ in a location where many new build housing developments are being proposed.

A planning application has now been submitted and is expected to be voted on in June 2022. The works are expected to start in 2023 and be complete by summer 2025.

Coun Steve Carr said: “I am a little concerned about the line which says that the money from the Department for Transport is only provisional at this stage.

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“I am wondering what sort of costs are we going to incur between now and when a decision is made and what happens if the DfT doesn’t agree to provide us with the £24.3m.”

Coun Keith Girling, Nottinghamshire Council economic development and asset management committee chairman.Coun Keith Girling, Nottinghamshire Council economic development and asset management committee chairman.
Coun Keith Girling, Nottinghamshire Council economic development and asset management committee chairman.

Kevin Sharman, council manager for transport and planning, said he could understand the concerns and said the authority had been through ‘lengthy discussions’ with the DfT, which has fixed their contribution to the council and budgeted for it.

He said: “They haven’t backtracked on these sort of principals in the past so we have to assume that this money will be forthcoming.”

Coun Roger Upton said: “I think we all agree this piece of infrastructure is essential for the county.

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“I’ve been driving for 45 years and it needs to be done. This is the first step of trying to get compulsory purchase of the land that is needed.

“I’ll be dead by the time this thing gets off the ground.”

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‘Vital piece of work’

Coun Keith Girling, committee chairman, said: “This is a vital piece of work and we are at the crunch point where it could actually happen.

“It could be absolutely disastrous to delay it, stop it or not do something because we are scared.”

Council documents say negotiations with landowners are already under way and a CPO is a ‘last resort’.

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The papers state there is also the potential for a public inquiry if objections are received and not withdrawn in response to the CPO.

The documents say: “The scheme will contribute to economic growth and investment in this part of Nottinghamshire and will deliver significant journey time savings and improvements in respect ofthe highways.

“It is considered there is a compelling case in the public interest for making the orders, that there are no satisfactory alternatives and the benefits of the scheme justify interference with private property rights.”

The recommendations were passed with two abstentions.

The junctions set for improvement are:

Ollerton – A614/A616/A6075 roundabout;

Mickledale Lane, Bilsthorpe – A614/Mickledale Lane crossroads;

White Post, Farnsfield – A614/Mansfield Road roundabout;

Warren Hill – A614/A6097 priority junction;

Lowdham – A6097/A612 Nottingham Road/Southwell Road roundabout;

Kirk Hill – A6097/Kirk Hill crossroads.