The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport regarding the latest position with costs and delivery timescales for the A511 Growth Corridor scheme and seeking approval for the compulsory acquisition of land and rights for the scheme. A copy of the report, marked ‘Agenda Item 10’, is filed with these minutes.
The Director advised that minor changes had been made to the plans at Appendices A and B to the report (amended copies of which are filed with these minutes).
a) That a Compulsory Purchase Order to be known as “The Leicestershire County Council (A511 Growth Corridor) Compulsory Purchase Order 2023” (CPO) be made under Sections 239, 240, 246, 250 and 260 of the Highways Act 1980 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 to secure the compulsory acquisition of the land shown coloured pink and the new rights over the land shown coloured blue on the CPO Maps at Appendix A to the report;
b) That a Side Roads Order to be known as “The Leicestershire County Council (A511 Growth Corridor) (Side Roads) Order 2023” (SRO) be made under Sections 14 and 125 of the Highways Act 1980 to construct new highways and public rights of ways, stop up, divert, improve or otherwise deal with a highway including public rights of ways and the closure and creation of private means of access as shown in the SRO Maps at Appendix B to the report;
c) That the Director of Environment and Transport and Director of Corporate Resources be authorised, in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance and following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Lead Members, to:
(i) finalise and make, if necessary, any minor or technical amendments, modifications and deletions to the CPO Maps and SRO Maps should this be considered appropriate;
(ii) finalise the CPO and the SRO (collectively referred to as “the Orders”), and the Statement of Reasons;
(iii) in accordance with the Cabinet authority dated 29 March 2022, continue to take all necessary steps to make (including any associated or ancillary applications to the Secretary of State under the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 (including in respect of open space) if considered necessary), publish, and obtain confirmation of the Orders including (but not limited to) the publication and service of all statutory notices and presentation of the Council’s case at any Public Inquiry or through written representations, to secure the confirmation of the Orders (with or without modifications) by the Secretary of State for Transport and implement the Orders associated with the A511 Growth Corridor scheme;
(iv) continue, in accordance with the Cabinet authority dated 29 March 2022, discussions and negotiations with landowners and stakeholders with a view to reaching voluntary agreements with landowners and to purchase and/or reserve land and rights by agreement for the A511 Growth Corridor;
d) That the latest position with regard to costs and timescales for the scheme, set out in Part B of the report, be noted.
REASONS FOR DECISION:
The Cabinet in March 2022 authorised the Director of Environment and Transport to, among other things, take the necessary steps to make, secure confirmation of and implement the Orders necessary for the A511 Growth Corridor scheme. At that point in the scheme’s development it was not known exactly which areas of land these Orders would pertain to, although a preferred route had been identified. The planning permission granted in January 2023 confirmed the route of the proposed Bardon Link Road element of the project. Improvements to be undertaken along the wider A511 corridor will be constructed under permitted development rights. An application was submitted pursuant to Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 on 20 June 2023 and is expected to be approved in September 2023. This application seeks to amend the drainage design associated with the new Bardon Link Road by reducing the size of the balancing pond south of the railway embankment and utilising the area to the north of the railway embankment for additional informal flood storage. The revised design requires less permanent land take, whilst also offering project benefits in terms of earthworks cost savings and a more varied habitat creation through an extension of the existing wet woodland and increased wetland/aquatic habitats north of the railway embankment. The proposals for land take for the A511 Growth Corridor scheme have been finalised. In the interests of clarity for affected landowners, the Cabinet should formally note and approve the requirements subject to minor amendments.
Authorising the Director of Environment and Transport and the Director of Corporate Resources in consultation with the Director of Law and Governance to proceed with the making, securing confirmation and implementation of the Orders will help ensure this is done within the planned timescale. The land areas represented in both the CPO and SRO Maps, for example, may require minor modifications following responses received to the notices served under Section 5A Acquisition of Land Act 1981 seeking information as to ownership of land and rights.
To note the latest position since progress with the scheme was last reported to the Cabinet in March 2022.