Kirkley Rise link road to close again?
PUBLISHED: 20:24 19 August 2011
AN £850,000 road built to improve transport links in south Lowestoft could be forced to close again – just a fortnight after it opened more than four years late.
The long-running Kirkley Rise saga appeared to have finally reached a successful resolution when the link road, serving the main visitor car park in Lowestoft’s beach area, was opened to traffic on Friday, August 5.
After years of drawn-out legal negotiations between the landowner, Kirkley Poors Land Estate Trustees, Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council, the road was opened in time for the Lowestoft air show last week and hopes were high that traffic would be able to continue to use it.
But, The Journal can reveal, further talks are now taking place after it was claimed that a key “legal agreement” had not been signed by all the interested parties.
In a letter to The Journal, Ralph Castleton, chairman of Kirkley Poor’s Lands Trust, says: “We have not signed any agreement. An agreement has been reached with the landowner of the first stretch of the road from the Asda roundabout, but not over the trust’s land.”
A Waveney District Council spokesman confirmed this week that a meeting between its officers, and representatives from the county council and trust was due to take place yesterday and today.
Plans for the link road, connecting the Clifton Road car park to the relief road at Horn Hill, were approved by councillors in 2005 and the work was completed more than four years ago.
Although it was not officially opened, some frustrated motorists used it as an illegal short-cut until metal and concrete barriers were installed in 2008.
The road remained closed to traffic while legal discussions continued but in July last year, diggers moved in to clear the barriers and the road was opened to traffic for two days. However, this only proved to be a temporary measure as it was promptly closed again.
The road reopened two weeks ago but, with the new talks under way, it remains unclear as to whether the latest problems will force it to close once again.
The road – which formed part of the Kirkley infrastructure development project to encourage better links between the South Lowestoft Relief Road and Kirkley – was designed to provide public access to Clifton Road car park, the beach, shops and private premises.
“We have been in discussion with Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council since the summer of 2006 over the construction and opening of Kirkley Rise because the road crosses part of the charity’s land,” Mr Castleton says in his letter.
“We gave permission in September 2006 for the road to be built because funding was then available.”
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