Land for new Stoneleigh link road expected to be bought by Warwickshire County Council

Where Phase 1 of the link road will be built
Where Phase 1 of the link road will be built

Land near to where the new ‘link road’ off the A46 at Stoneleigh is expected to be bought by Warwickshire County Council so the project can get underway.

The council is expected to agree to make a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to buy the land it needs to build the first phase of the road at its cabinet meeting on Tuesday March 21.

The first phase of the link road would see a gyratory built at the Stoneleigh junction of the A46, a new roundabout on the west side of Stoneleigh Road, and a bridge between Dalehouse Lane and Stoneleigh Road.

If it is built on time, it will hopefully ease the traffic problems caused by the construction of HS2, and it should be able to cope with any increase in traffic in the future.

In its report, council officers said: “A fully upgraded roundabout will provide capacity to accommodate current and likely future demand, but is also compatible with further future capacity enhancements if required.

CPOs allow councils to forcibly purchase land when it is needed for major projects.

However, the council is also negotiating with the landowners about buying their land without having to resort to CPOs.

Due to the time it takes to process a CPO, the council are doing both at once so if negotiations do fall through, they will acquire the land with a CPO by 2018 anyway.

The land it wants to buy is mainly agricultural, and officers said: “Its acquisition will not threaten the viability of any such use on the land retained by the land owner or of any business presently being carried on.

“The Council has concluded that the economic, social, physical and environmental benefits the public interest that the scheme will bring outweigh the interference with the rights of the landowners.”

The first phase of the link road is expected to finish by 2019, but that will not be the end of the project.

Phase two will improve links to Warwick University by building a new road connecting the A46 at Stoneleigh with Westwood Heath via the A429.

It should reduce the use of minor roads such as Crackley Lane for traffic wishing to access the university and surrounding area.

The Department for Transport has granted the council £1.25 million to help complete phase two after a successful bid.

And phase three would connect phase two’s road with either the A45 or the A452 towards Solihull.

In a previous interview, Cllr Peter Butlin, portfolio holder for transport and planning at the county council, said: “The A46 Link Road is a very exciting scheme both for Warwickshire and the wider sub-region.

“Infrastructure investment is needed in key corridors such as the A45 and A46 to provide the conditions for businesses to continue to invest in the area.

“An efficient transport network is key to maintaining and supporting future growth, and this is exactly what the A46 Link Road scheme aims to deliver.”