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More northern bypass details planned for 'end of this year'

PUBLISHED: 12:21 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 14 October 2019

Matthew Hicks said he planned for a strategic outline business case to be published by the end of the year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Matthew Hicks said he planned for a strategic outline business case to be published by the end of the year. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The outline business case discussing a northern bypass to help relieve traffic in and out of Ipswich is set to be published by the end of the year, a council leader has said.

Labour Councillor Sarah Adams said failed highways projects meant the northern bypass was critical. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLabour Councillor Sarah Adams said failed highways projects meant the northern bypass was critical. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

However Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks said a full analysis of the three potential routes would have to be completed before a strategic outline business case is unveiled.

The public was given until September 13 to have their say about the options, with the outline business case set to be published during the autumn of this year.

Suffolk County Council's Labour group leader Sarah Adams has penned a letter to Mr Hicks demanding to know when a consultation report will be published, when an outline business case will go forward, the council's preferred route and details of any financial contribution to be made.

Mr Hicks said: "Due to the large number of responses received during the public consultation, it is not possible for me to give you a specific date for publication as work to analyse the results is ongoing.

"The consultation report is a key accompanying part of the overall strategic outline business case, and therefore the business case itself cannot be published until this analysis is complete.

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"It is still very much my intention to publish the strategic outline business case by the end of this year.

"Once published it will be for all the local authorities in Suffolk to provide their recommendations on how to proceed following consideration of the full report."

Ms Adams told Mr Hicks it was "critical" to committing to a northern route, citing the failed Upper Orwell Crossings and Four Villages Bypass projects.

She added: "Any further delay to the publication of the strategic outline business case would be unacceptable given its already lengthy postponement.

"If such a delay was to happen again, it would only generate additional frustration and anxiety for communities both in favour and in opposition to the project."

At Mid Suffolk District Council, the opposition Green group said any proposals would contravene both the council's declaration of a climate emergency and subsequent vow to become carbon neutral by 2030, and the emerging local plan.

Green councillor Dan Pratt said: "The Ipswich northern route will ruin some of Suffolk's most characteristic scenery and heritage, decimate valuable habitat and add to traffic congestion and air pollution. Instead, we must consider viable options that will help us progress towards a carbon neutral future and promote biodiversity."

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