Live blog: Major inquiry into Hereford link road begins today

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  • The inquiry got under way at 10am this morning.
  • It is expected to last around eight days, taking place at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford.
  • It follows objection to compulsory purchase orders issued by Herefordshire Council in relation to the proposed city-centre link road.

4:58pm

Thanks for following today's live blog.

The inquiry will continue from 9.30am tomorrow.

4:31pm

A "large" number of alternatives were looked at, Mr Oakley says.

Schemes looked at were those that that would significantly reduce traffic, those that would improve connectivity between Hereford's  "historic core" and ESG area and that would improve access to the site.

4:27pm

Mr Oakley says there are many things he would like to do as a professional but it is a matter of "how much you bite off in one element". 

He adds that disruption while the link road is built would be significantly less than that taking place on Newmarket Street. 

4:24pm

Coun Bowen asks whether it would not be a "better, more comprehensive" scheme if transport interchange had been included from the beginning.

4:22pm

Councillor Sebastien Bowen asks whether a transport interchanged is guaranteed.

Mr Oakley says this is not part of the scheme but is something that would be facilitated by it in the future.

4:20pm

He adds it is the "best means" of meeting the needs of the ESG area and the city as a whole.

4:18pm

The link road evolved following detailed evaluation of a number of alternatives and is considered the "optimal solution" he says.

4:15pm

Access to some areas of the ESG development site is "currently inadequate", he says.

4:15pm

Transport manager Chris Oakley is now outlining the transport benefits of the scheme.

4:04pm

There is a "compelling case" in the public interest for the scheme, he adds.

The public benefits are widely seen in terms of economic, social and environmental factors.

3:58pm

The scheme provides for economic benefits, makes good use of underused land and has social benefits in terms of necessary housing - particularly affordable housing - Dr Nicholson adds.

3:49pm

Alternative route would not achieve the aims of the link road.

3:48pm

Proposals for an alternative route would not be suitable, Dr Nicholson says.

 

3:43pm

Tim Jones says the council is very "confident" it will have reached an agreement with Royal Mail before the end of the inquiry.

 

3:36pm

The inquiry has paused for a short break.

3:35pm

This afternoon, Dr David Nicholson is giving an overview of the scheme.

3:33pm

Tim Jones also made his opening statement for Herefordshire Council earlier today.

 

The primary objective of the link road, he said, was to progress the regeneration of an "underused" part of central Hereford, currently dominated by "low-value" and often "unsightly land-uses".


Other benefits would include reducing traffic on Newmarket Street and Blueschool Street (A438) and improving pedestrian connectivity

3:32pm

Earlier today, planning inspector Ava Wood made a visit to the site of the proposed road.

3:31pm

Those statements have to explain the council's case for them and the reasons for the making of the orders and were served on January 9 2014.


The council’s Statements of Case were served upon the objectors and both secretaries of state on January 9 2014.

3:30pm

As a result, the council had to prepare and serve upon each objector - and the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government - a statement of case for each order.

3:29pm

Orders were issued five months later but to strong opposition.

3:26pm

In March last year, the council's cabinet backed the use of compulsory purchase powers to end the apparent stalemate.

3:22pm

It is the culmination of years of drawn-out negotiation between the council landowners and businesses along the link road’s route.

3:22pm

The inquiry is one of the biggest ever conducted in the county and will look into a proposed cross-city route running between Commercial Road and Edgar Street.

Comments (6)

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9:11pm Wed 23 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

Lovely! Ain't that a little sweetener. Just when you think things can't get any worse because of this pointless road to nowhere which is only a route to feed this new beast of a retail zone, those who lie upon its path are now described as 'low value' and even better still, 'unsightly land users'.
Good Lord! Say what you think won't you! Kick them when they're down! Good grief. Why not tell them they are stinkers, they've got headlice and this City would be a whole lot better off if they cleared off and presented their unsightly low value selves to some other eyes that are prepared to tolerate their unpleasantness.
Lovely! Ain't that a little sweetener. Just when you think things can't get any worse because of this pointless road to nowhere which is only a route to feed this new beast of a retail zone, those who lie upon its path are now described as 'low value' and even better still, 'unsightly land users'. Good Lord! Say what you think won't you! Kick them when they're down! Good grief. Why not tell them they are stinkers, they've got headlice and this City would be a whole lot better off if they cleared off and presented their unsightly low value selves to some other eyes that are prepared to tolerate their unpleasantness. bobby47
  • Score: 7

9:09am Thu 24 Apr 14

bobby47 says...

Minus bloody four. Im two thousand miles away, I rarely contribute upon here nowadays and I've hit minus bloody four. Worse still, Im the only contributor thus far which suggests that Im as popular as Ricketts.
Well it doesn't bother me. I'll be damned if this latest setback and kick in the teeth drives me to the local ale house to talk gibberish with folk I don't know, cannot understand and have no idea of how close Liverpool are to winning the league.
Do your worst. Me record is Minus thirty nine and that's low.
Minus bloody four. Im two thousand miles away, I rarely contribute upon here nowadays and I've hit minus bloody four. Worse still, Im the only contributor thus far which suggests that Im as popular as Ricketts. Well it doesn't bother me. I'll be damned if this latest setback and kick in the teeth drives me to the local ale house to talk gibberish with folk I don't know, cannot understand and have no idea of how close Liverpool are to winning the league. Do your worst. Me record is Minus thirty nine and that's low. bobby47
  • Score: 6

11:14am Thu 24 Apr 14

Herefordian07 says...

Dear Bobby you are sadly missed by the faithful, I always find it charming when councillors take a high handed attitude to small family businesses that provide excellent service and value for money to their loyal customers, the money made by their trade is generally spent locally unlike the gorgons now coming to fleece us and take their profits back to head office or even abroad, don't worry about the thumbs down I could care less, my hide is bullet proof so a thumb isn't going to hurt one jot! All hail to you majesty.
Dear Bobby you are sadly missed by the faithful, I always find it charming when councillors take a high handed attitude to small family businesses that provide excellent service and value for money to their loyal customers, the money made by their trade is generally spent locally unlike the gorgons now coming to fleece us and take their profits back to head office or even abroad, don't worry about the thumbs down I could care less, my hide is bullet proof so a thumb isn't going to hurt one jot! All hail to you majesty. Herefordian07
  • Score: 4

12:35pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Grid Knocker says...

Is it an indictable offence, I wonder, to tell porkies to a government Inspector?

Because on the opening day of this carefully-kept secret Inquiry, one expert witness told the Inspector that the Link Road to Nowhere was needed to 'open up' brown field land which was urgently needed for housing, much of which would be affordable (I paraphrase). Sadly, no-one cross-examined this Pinnochio person to ask what was wrong with using under-used Lower Widemarsh Street as the 'feeder road' into and out of the much-vaunted Urban Village. Another road is an unnecessary extravagence. It will destroy local businesses, lose jobs, generate more noise and pollution and cost way more than the estimated £25-million.
Is it an indictable offence, I wonder, to tell porkies to a government Inspector? Because on the opening day of this carefully-kept secret Inquiry, one expert witness told the Inspector that the Link Road to Nowhere was needed to 'open up' brown field land which was urgently needed for housing, much of which would be affordable (I paraphrase). Sadly, no-one cross-examined this Pinnochio person to ask what was wrong with using under-used Lower Widemarsh Street as the 'feeder road' into and out of the much-vaunted Urban Village. Another road is an unnecessary extravagence. It will destroy local businesses, lose jobs, generate more noise and pollution and cost way more than the estimated £25-million. Grid Knocker
  • Score: 5

1:20pm Thu 24 Apr 14

redyoll says...

Ah but I think I read somewhere that the proposed link road plan blocks off access to these brownfield sites therefore blocking any hope of house development.
Ah but I think I read somewhere that the proposed link road plan blocks off access to these brownfield sites therefore blocking any hope of house development. redyoll
  • Score: 4

2:40pm Tue 29 Apr 14

billy wizz says...

well tim jones I for one am fuming your ill judged comments I find insulting !!!
we as a company have traded for 37 years on widemarsh street , paying our rates and giving income to local people and services. if you and your like at the council had once in the last ten years got off your backsides and come and spoke to us instead our phone calls have been ignored . we have plans in our office from 2008 showing us staying put , but through the total failure of the council we do not know if we are coming or going , so investment in our premises would be fool hardy . if we had run our company the same as the council we would have gone to the wall years ago. so I invite mr tim jones down to disscuss our options, which will be more than anyone from the council has done in the past decade.also you may like to pop in next door to Hereford glass who has had the same total inept response from the council, no offers no contact and no help from the council just snide comments from mr tim jones.
well tim jones I for one am fuming your ill judged comments I find insulting !!! we as a company have traded for 37 years on widemarsh street , paying our rates and giving income to local people and services. if you and your like at the council had once in the last ten years got off your backsides and come and spoke to us instead our phone calls have been ignored . we have plans in our office from 2008 showing us staying put , but through the total failure of the council we do not know if we are coming or going , so investment in our premises would be fool hardy . if we had run our company the same as the council we would have gone to the wall years ago. so I invite mr tim jones down to disscuss our options, which will be more than anyone from the council has done in the past decade.also you may like to pop in next door to Hereford glass who has had the same total inept response from the council, no offers no contact and no help from the council just snide comments from mr tim jones. billy wizz
  • Score: 4

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