Hopes that the new road through the Longforth Farm estate would remove Relyon lorries from the town centre and ease traffic congestion remain unfulfilled. Councillors showed their frustration at a recent meeting of the town council where developers Bloor Homes sought planning permission for the final 119 houses on the estate.
“Part of the original application was that the road would take goods traffic out of the town centre. They’re not honouring things that should have been done,” said Cllr Mark Lithgow.
“My understanding is that the route into the Relyon factory never will be finished and it ruffles my feathers,” said Cllr Janet Reed, in support.
In fact, the new road is already complete right up to the factory boundary – but with a new footpath between the road and the fence. The difficulties are complex with various parties unwilling to take responsibility.
“We don’t believe that Bloor have yet fulfilled their obligations to complete the access to our site,” commented Relyon finance director Alan Chapman.
According to Cllr Andy Govier who has been part of the negotiations between Bloor and planning and highways officials, one further difficulty is that while the estate is still unfinished there are difficulties in allowing construction traffic and Relyon lorries to share the road.
Other sources say that yellow-line parking restrictions will be inevitable if large trucks are to use the road and that people who have bought houses on Longforth Farm are likely to protest and possibly take legal action.
“We need to be sure that we have not just moved the traffic problems from Brendon Road to Longforth Farm,” added Mr Chapman, who said the estimated cost of a new access gate, including security etc, is around £150,000.
“Relyon’s willingness to make this all happen is still there, provided we have support from the council so that we don’t become the bad guys” said Mr Chapman.
Meanwhile, the town council remains distinctly unimpressed. “It’s very important to send out the message to Bloor Homes that we are not happy,” said Cllr Peter Critchard.