17th October 2008

Truth About the Castle Lane Relief Road

It’s time that those who live on Castle Lane and those who use it, understand the truth about the fabled Castle Lane “Relief” Road.

Overriding all arguments and evidence from our Council, the Secretary of State, Hazel Blears, has rubber stamped the SWRA draft Regional Spatial Strategy, demanding Bournemouth’s last remaining piece of Green Belt must have 1,500 houses built on it, but steadfastly refuses to offer any money for infrastructure to service them.

Originally planned to link up with a major east/west transport network, after 30 years, the reservation for the “relief” road is still in the District Wide Local Plan, despite being undeliverable as just to construct the western end from Muscliffe Lane to the roundabout at Northbourne would require 1 ¼ miles of elevated road above the flood plain on SSI land, including two bridges over the river (see photograph of area January 2008).

Houses will not be affordable if they have to fund this road big enough to “relieve” Castle Lane, which we all know, has suffered the largest increase in traffic and congestion in the Borough. As local people, we know Castle Lane cannot take any more strain and the area is not suitable for development unless the Government is prepared to put in a massive amount of money for infrastructure (roads, schools, health services, sewers, etc) and even then we would lose our last green space for leisure, protection of habitat and our identity. This will not stop the cynical manipulation by those with a financial interest in the land claiming they will construct “part” of a relief road with their developments, but all traffic can only ever pour out on to Castle Lane; there is nowhere else for it to go.

The reservation line is right beside homes in Townsend, Throop and Muscliff, as can be seen on the District Wide Local Plan maps in the libraries and Council website and flood maps are on the Environment Agency website.

Hazel Blears and the South West Regional Assembly must leave local decisions to local people and our elected Council.

How would Hazel Blears like us to just move in and build a block of flats in her back garden?

It is vital we all object:-

by post to GOSW 2 Rivergate

Temple Quay




http://gosw.limehouse.co.uk/portal/regional_strategies/drss and go to Response form.doc.

In both cases, quote the Green Belt reference HMA7.