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Spalding Bourne Road residents in "summer of hell"

Spalding Bourne Road residents have endured a "summer of hell" waiting for news on whether their homes are still in line to be bulldozed.

Lincolnshire County Council was due to unveil its verdict on six potential routes for the middle section of Spalding Western Relief Road in early September.

On Tuesday, in answer to the Spalding Guardian's questions, the council revealed their work will take another fortnight.

MP Sir John Hayes (centre) with Amanda Halifax (left) and fellow relief road protestors
MP Sir John Hayes (centre) with Amanda Halifax (left) and fellow relief road protestors

Bourne Road resident Amanda Halifax said: "I am just so appalled that these councillors have kept us all hanging on the end of a string throughout the whole summer regarding demolishing our homes.

"They promised to keep us all informed throughout and yet none of us has received any letters and only those that have contacted them individually asking about an update have had a response.

"It has basically been the summer of hell for most of us awaiting our fate and in their hands as to whether they destroy our homes and our memories.

"We will now count the next 14 days awaiting our fate."

News that up to nine homes on Bourne Road could be demolished dropped like a bombshell on residents in February and, following protests, but the county council agreed to take a fresh look at possible options.

MP Sir John Hayes opposes demolition of any homes and he's asked the Government to decide whether the road can be built. He's also taken up concerns of Spalding and Pinchbeck residents fighting to save the green space between the town and village.

Tomorrow (Friday) Sir John and members of SPARR (Spalding Pinchbeck Against the Relief Road) will meet Natural England to talk about the potential loss of wildlife habitat.

Sir John said: "It's an important escape to the natural world for people and people need space to enjoy their surroundings."

Bourne Road residents Catherine and Frank Roberts are also disappointed to have been left in limbo for so long.

In a joint statement, the couple said: "It is disappointing, after a long stressful summer, we have to wait until October to hear our fate.

"We can only hope that common sense and humanity has prevailed, and an alternative has been found. It will certainly be worth the wait, if no one in Bourne Road has to lose their home in pursuit of the central section of the road.

"We have recently handed in the petition to Lincolnshire County Council, just over 1300 signatures in all, and thank everyone in Spalding for their show of support.

"It has been tremendous, and the comments and best wishes received have helped keep us resolute in the belief this is wrong, and the route has to alter."

The county council is promising to contact people affected once its latest study is complete.

A highways spokesperson said: "It’s taken slightly longer than expected to complete our assessment and feasibility study. However, we expect to have it finished in the next two weeks, at which time we will contact those potentially affected.

"Once complete, the report will be put forward to the Highways & Transport Scrutiny Committee for discussion and then to the council’s Executive for a final decision."

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