Monday, July 2, 2012

News: End of the road for Waverley Link?


The Department for Transport (DFT) has decided not to fund the proposed Waverley Link Road in Rotherham and no further work will be undertaken on the scheme.

The £8.57m transport scheme aims to support regeneration and economic growth at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and Waverley developments in Rotherham.

The AMP is the UK's premier advanced manufacturing technology park, providing world-class advanced manufacturing technology solutions to ensure repetitive advantage for industry. It is home to the likes of Boeing and Dormer Tools and Rolls-Royce is making major investments in new facilities.

Led by UK Coal, the £100m Waverley regeneration project on the site of the former Orgreave colliery is the biggest brownfield site development in South Yorkshire and covers 741 acres, an area bigger than Sheffield city centre. It will be home to nearly 4,000 houses.

The planned link road would be a 1.2 mile long single-carriageway joining Retford Road and Highfield Lane. The planned route would have used a portion of Woodhouse Mill Recreation Ground, also known locally as Woodhouse Mill Playing Fields.

Sheffield Council, whilst supporting the wider Waverley and Lower Don Valley regeneration initiatives does not support the loss of land through the playing field to accommodate the proposed road line.

As part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge in 2012, the Woodhouse Mill Recreation Ground, which is owned by Sheffield Council, has been dedicated as a "Queen Elizabeth II Field" and will be managed as a recreation ground / playing field for continued public benefit.

The bid secured 68 votes in the national initiative that involved local communities directly nominating and voting for local playing fields.

A bid from Rotherham Council for £6.961m from the DFT was turned down in December 2011 and the council was asked to work with Sheffield Council and propose a resolution to the issue by 31 March 2012.

A report to the council's meeting of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development this week states that a proposal and revised program was put forward by Rotherham Council that would involve the compulsory purchase of the land required but this has now been turned down.

A spokesperson from the DFT said: "Given that Rotherham and Sheffield Councils have been unable to come to an agreement, the Department does not have sufficient confidence that the scheme can be delivered and we therefore cannot agree to provide DFT funding for it."

As the DFT was the main source of funding, further work on the scheme is unlikely to take place until after the current Government spending review period ends in 2014-15.

Images: RMBC


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