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Three-year wait for link road likely

PUBLISHED: 12:43 07 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

WORK on any Gainsborough Link road from the A14 to Ipswich docks is unlikely to start until the end of 2004 at the earliest. A major obstacle to the work seems to have been eased, however, with port owners ABP being likely to remove their objections to a new bridge.

WORK on any Gainsborough Link road from the A14 to Ipswich docks is unlikely to start until the end of 2004 at the earliest.

But a major obstacle to the work seems to have been eased because port owners ABP are likely to remove their objections to a new bridge linking the Cliff Quay and West Bank terminals over the lock gates - if a new road is built from the A14 to the East Bank.

Meanwhile a senior member of Ipswich Borough Council has admitted it would look more favourably on plans for the Gainsborough Link if the Wet Dock bridge was included in the proposal.

Council officials say nothing can be determined until the Local Plan process is concluded.

The next phase is due to start in August when the deposit draft is discussed by the council's executive committee.

After that, however, there are many further stages - including public consultation and a possible public inquiry. Planning officials at Civic Centre believe it is unlikely to be ratified before the middle of 2004.

That would mean no planning permission for a new road and associated development could be granted until the second half of that year - and work could not start until the end of that year.

The council's planning and economic development spokesman Phil Smart said today that the news that a link across the dock could be included would give the Gainsborough Link proposal a boost.

"That would certainly make it look more like the complete package, and it's certainly something we would consider," he said.

Officials from ABP are not willing to comment formally on the proposal to put a swing bridge across the lock and another bridge across the New Cut.

But company officials have indicated they would probably not oppose this option - if it came after the Gainsborough Link.

The easing of objections was welcomed by Alan Deville, of developers Samuel Beadie which wants to build the road and build a new retail and business centre on disused land overlooking the River Orwell.

But Mr Deville, who developed the plan with Clive Thompson, was hopeful that the road could be built sooner than the council was suggesting.

"I've heard this from the borough, but there is no real reason why it could not be considered before then.

"I shall be pressing for the decision to be made before then, a planning application has already been submitted," he said.

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