Underpass compulsory purchase going ahead

RESIDENTS of a Royston street will lose part of their gardens after a council decided to make a compulsory purchase to aid the construction of an underpass. Hertfordshire County Council has decided to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acqu

RESIDENTS of a Royston street will lose part of their gardens after a council decided to make a compulsory purchase to aid the construction of an underpass.

Hertfordshire County Council has decided to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to acquire land needed to help the �3.7million Coombes Hole underpass project go ahead.

The CPO includes part of the rear gardens of some properties in Brooke Road, as well as part of the open space between Green Street and the A10 Melbourn Road and the existing Coombes Hole track itself. Other land, including part of the Royston allotments, will be temporarily included in the order so that construction work can go ahead.

Cllr Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport at the county council, said: "The underpass route has been agreed through a thorough process involving technical and feasibility studies and extensive public consultation, but we now have to deal with these rather complex land ownership issues so that the construction work can go ahead as planned."


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A copy of the order has been sent to all the affected parties so that they can register objections if they wish to do so. It is also available to view at the Royston Town Council offices at the town hall, and at North Herts District Council's Letchworth headquarters.

Cllr Pile continued: "The council will continue its dialogue with affected landowners, however the CPO, if confirmed, will ensure that the land will be available to allow work to begin on the underpass - a long-awaited link across the town that most local people want to see completed without delay."

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According to a council spokesman, the current ownership of the land being purchased is unknown.

The spokesman said: "A number of rear gardens of Brooke Road have been extended at some time so that they overlay part of the proposed underpass route.

"The ownership of these portions of land is currently unknown or in doubt and the council is seeking to resolve this issue through the CPO.

"Once the land has been acquired, the rear fences of the affected properties will be moved back to the CPO boundary," he said.

The underpass project has been designed to link the northern part of the town directly with the leisure centre and the main complex of schools, and to give pedestrians and cyclists easier access.

Work is expected to start on site in the spring 2010, with completion anticipated by mid 2011.

Objections should be addressed to The Government Office for the North East, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 4WH. The closing date for this is October 2.

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