After lying dormant while all the parties got their act together and the lawyers gave Vital Energi their opinion, the Trust and Vital are starting to move. They held two drop-in sessions for interested locals yesterday (Weds 18 May) which they say were well-attended. When I visited the exhibition at the JR in the afternoon people were dropping steadily in a few at a time.
With the help of their planning consultants they are now almost ready to submit what they hope will be the final and definitive planning application for the street works to lay the pipeline. They expect to do this in June, with a decision following in August so that work can start in September. Construction should last 32 weeks.
As expected, the proposed route for the pipeline will now run from All Saints Road via Lime Walk to Old Road instead of using Stapleton Road. Lime Walk (the southern half – the northern half isn’t directly affected) will be able to stay open with traffic lights controlling alternate flows. Disruption to Old Road will be reduced because a shorter stretch will need to be excavated. Apart from this the rest of the project is as it was before.
As reported elsewhere, Lime Walk residents are beginning to ask about compensation for the disruption, with payment for permanent traffic calming measures being a favorite. No doubt there will be more about this at the next Stakeholder Liaison meeting early in June.
The display panels from the exhibition are here, and you can send your own comments to the Trust and Vital by 27 May (link on the same page).
One thought on “Getting moving again”
Many of us remained unconvinced that this project warrants all of the disruption it will involve, and that a two-boiler solution would be preferable.
I was also at the JR yesterday and found that the Hospital and Vital representatives were still very defensive about the whole planning process and shifted the blame onto the Council.
To the best of my knowledge, the three parties concerned have not issued an unqualified apology for the whole fiasco. It beggars belief that no-one thought that it might be a good idea to inform and consult with the community on a project of this magnitude prior to its implementation.
I am tempted to erect a blue plaque by the once-dug and rapidly filled-in hole in All Saints Road, reading “this is where local democracy died.”
Now it looks like we will be faced with the simultaneous construction of the heat-pipe and the new, five-story student residence. Happy times ahead for those on Latimer Road (and who bought houses there just before anything was known about either project).
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