‘Left in the dark over by­pass plans’

Stockport Express - - Front Page - ALEX SCAPENS alex.scapens@men­media.co.uk @AlexS­capen­sMEN

AN­GRY res­i­dents have held a meet­ing to dis­cuss how they will stop a ma­jor by­pass po­ten­tially be­ing built through coun­try­side on their doorstep.

A coun­cil fea­si­bil­ity study was pub­lished ear­lier this year look­ing at tak­ing the A6 SEMMS re­lief road from Hazel Grove through the Goyt and Poise Brook val­leys to the M60 at Bred­bury.

It is ex­pected a busi­ness case for the road will be pub­lished within the next month but the coun­cil say no firm de­ci­sion on whether to press ahead has been made.

But res­i­dents en-route in Of­fer­ton say they have not been in­formed of the pro­pos­als and aired their views at a meet­ing at Of­fer­ton Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

It was or­gan­ised by mem­bers of the Goyt Val- ley SOS group, who them­selves are cam­paign­ing to pre­vent the by­pass ex­ten­sion be­ing built through coun­try­side, at an es­ti­mated cost of £600m.

Rachel Houghton, the group’s chair, says that peo­ple think­ing of mov­ing into the area are also be­ing left in the dark.

She said: “Searches by peo­ple buy­ing houses near the route do not turn up the by­pass plans. This is very up­set­ting for the peo­ple in­volved.

“It is the coun­cil’s by­pass plan and they should take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the trou­ble it is caus­ing peo­ple.”

Shirley Thomp­son, an Of­fer­ton res­i­dent, added: “I knew noth­ing about the by­pass un­til my daugh­ter found a cam­paign leaflet last week. I was re­ally shocked.”

Dur­ing the meet­ing a res­o­lu­tion was passed to ‘ob­ject to the fail­ure of Stock­port coun­cil to tell us any­thing about the by­pass’.

And to de­mand that the coun­cil talks to res­i­dents be­fore any fur­ther de­ci­sions are made.

Coun­cil­lor Alex Gan­otis, leader of Stock­port coun­cil, said: “The out­line busi­ness case is be­ing drafted and no pro­pos­als have been made as of yet – as soon as the this is com­pleted, it will be re­leased to the pub­lic. Timescales for de­vel­op­ing this can be found in our for­ward plan, which is pub­licly avail­able.

“Even if we de­velop a full busi­ness case, this still will not mean money to take the project for­ward will have been se­cured. Even if this money is se­cured for this, sub­se­quent de­vel­op­ment plans will still then be sub­ject to full pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments be­fore any fi­nal de­ci­sion.”

●●Mem­bers of Goyt Val­ley SOS on a protest walk. They or­gan­ised the meet­ing to dis­cuss the by­pass

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